The USD Group is expanding its network of refined products terminals with an additional two facilities in Central Chihuahua, Mexico.
The Ciudad Cuauhtémoc terminal development is expected online by mid-2018 and will include manifest rail and truck transloading capabilities, as well as land for expansion.
Additionally, the company is formalising plans for a second refined products distribution terminal in the Central Chihuahua area, which will feature unit train, tank storage and truck loading capabilities.
The planned terminals are expected to 'meaningfully improve the distribution of refined products across the state of Chihuahua, which includes approximately two million residents and one of Mexico's most concentrated and productive agricultural and mining hubs.
Steve Magneess, vice president, business development, says: 'Along with the Querétaro terminal, our expansions into the Central Chihuahua area demonstrates our commitment to improving the delivery of critical products across the region.
'We believe our network of scalable terminals will enable our customers to more efficiently meet the rapidly growing demand for refined products in Mexico.'
Both terminals will be serviced by Ferromex railroad, a subsidiary of Grupo Mexico Transportes, with access to all North American Class 1 railroads.
Total oil product stocks in Fujairah were 16.712 million barrels as of Monday, March 8, up 4.6% on the week, after heavy distillates rebounded from last week's record lows, according to latest data from the Fujairah Energy Data Committee, or FEDCom.
Stocks of heavy distillates and residues jumped 34.3% on the week to 6.5 million barrels. This is after stocks tumbled a week earlier to a record low of 4.84 million barrels, S&P Global Platts Analytics said in a report. Bunker demand in Fujairah was reported as firmer, with market sources noting that inquiries and trade volumes have picked up in recent days. Fuel oil cargoes moving from the Middle East to Asia in March are estimated at 2 million mt, down from volumes of around 2.5 million mt in January and February, sources said.
Lower arbitrage volumes are consistent with the narrower spread between Singapore and Fujairah cargo prices since around mid-February. Meanwhile, stocks of light distillates fell 9.3% to 7.642 million barrels, the data showed. The Middle East petrol market showed some improvement, with both time spreads and cash premiums seeing some improvement on the week, the report said. Spring refinery maintenance is expected to tighten global supply balances, although weakness in the US petrol complex continues to weigh on sentiment, it added.
Stocks of middle distillates also fell 5.2% to 2.571 million barrels, staying rangebound on refinery maintenance in the Middle East and tepid demand fundamentals in Asia and Europe. Premiums for FOB Arab Gulf gasoil 500 ppm were at a 12-month low Tuesday.
Middle East jet export barrels remain well supported by demand from Asia, East Africa, and Europe. The Singapore market has recently seen heavy buying drive prompt jet fuel cash differentials to a 10-year high, but demand is expected to wane during the April-May shoulder season. Demand for jet kerosene stocks in the Gulf remained consistent, with the Emirates General Petroleum Corp. heard seeking 50,000 mt of jet A-1 fuel for mid-April delivery to Jebel Ali.
A new $50 million jet fuel storage facility for the St. Louis Lambert International Airport to replace the current fuel facility.
STL Fuel Company, a consortium of airlines that manages, maintains and operates the existing system, which dates back to 1957, was given approval by the City of St. Louis to construct a more modern, environmentally-friendly fuel storage facility.
The replacement facility will be located on nearly eight acres of airport-owned property and will comprise three 722,000 gallons of aboveground fuel storage tanks and associated pumps, filters and other equipment, with a total minimum usable storage capacity of 1.89 million gallons. It also has room for expansion beyond that capacity.
The age of the current infrastructure, along with new environmental regulations affecting all fuel storage facilities led to the decision by the airline consortium to build a replacement facility.
Once the design is complete the company will have two years to complete the project, which will include building a fuel transfer line from the facility to the airport's terminals, which then routes the fuel to each airline gate.
Once construction is complete STL will close and decommission the existing fuel storage facility.
Jim Stevenson, Southwest Airlines fuel category manager and chairman of STL Fuel Company, says: 'This major capital project being undertaken by STL Fuel Company will allow us to build a replacement fuel storage facility that will be cleaner for the environment, safer for the operators, more cost-efficient for all users, and will result in state-of-the-art, robust infrastructure that will reliably take us into the future.'
Shell Midstream Partners has reported strong fourth quarter 2017 financial results as it concluded an important growth year.
The growth-oriented mainstream company reported net income of $86.4 million, compared to $72.6 million from the prior quarter, driven by the acquisition of Triton West and an EBITDA of $118.7 million, an increase of 28.5% from the third quarter.
During the quarter, the partnership completed the acquisition of strategic infrastructure assets from Shell for $825 million – representing its largest acquisition to date. As part of the acquisition, it also acquired Triton West, which owns five refined products terminals in the Pacific Northwest, Midwest and Gulf Coast.
John Hollowell, CEO, Shell Midstream Partners, says: 'This was an important year for Shell Midstream Partners. We continued to deliver against our strategy, taking steps to diversify our portfolio, both in terms of asset classes and geography, all while sustaining our growth promises.
'Specifically, we acquired approximately $1.5 billion of assets from Shell – all high quality, strategic midstream assets that play an integral role in connecting North America's energy infrastructure.'
Inter Pipeline's European storage segment suffered the effects of a weakening contango pricing environment for certain petroleum products in its 2017 financials.
The European storage business generated annual funds from operations of $97.6 million in 2017, down from $120 million in 2016 as a result of reduced activity and utilisation levels in the latter half of 2017.
However, annual capacity utilisation was strong across Inter Terminal's European operation, resulting in an average utilisation rate of 96% compared to 98% in 2016.
In the second quarter of 2017, Inter Pipeline placed 175,000 barrels of new chemical storage capacity into service at the Seal Sands terminal, backed by long-term storage contracts.
Total oil product stocks in Fujairah were 15.978 million barrels as of Monday, February 26, down 4.7% on the week, after heavy distillates fell to a new record low, according to latest data from the Fujairah Energy Data Committee, or FEDCom.
Stocks of heavy distillates and residues tumbled 20.1% to a new record low of 4.84 million barrels. Traders in Fujairah said bunker demand was currently poor, with an absence of bids and offers during the Platts Fujairah MOC process in recent days, S&P Global Platts Analytics said in a report.
‘The market is quite slow,’ a Fujairah-based trader said. Another said: ‘Demand is low and discussions are quiet now’. The premium for ex-wharf 380 CST bunker over cargoes fell to a six-week low of $5.84/mt Tuesday, the report said.
On the other hand, stocks of light distillates rose 2.7% on the week to 8.426 million barrels. Stock levels so far this year have averaged 34% higher than a year ago. In the Middle East, petrol market sentiment remained relatively unchanged due to tepid demand and ample supplies from the Mediterranean, the report said.
Stocks of middle distillates rose 8% or 201,000 barrels to 2.712 million barrels. In the Arab Gulf, demand was stable while supply was capped by scheduled maintenance at refineries, a source said.
The cold weather front hitting parts of northern Europe could begin to draw some additional barrels towards the west, although a gasoil EFS value of minus $4.32/mt Tuesday remains unfavourable for arbitrage. In spot supply, Kuwait's KPC has sold 40,000 mt of 500 ppm gasoil for March 10-11 at a premium of 40 cents/b to the Mean of Platts Arab Gulf FOB Gasoil assessments.
Retaining its premium position at the world’s largest oil trading hub, the ARA has recently welcomed an influx of storage capital as the imports of petroleum products increases
However, with more EU-led environmental regulations emerging along with the potential need to meet the demand for a broader spectrum of product specifications, the region’s storage offering will need to diversify to meet these future challenges.
In an interview with Tank Storage Magazine, Paulo Nery, senior director, EMEA Oil, at Genscape says that while the ARA receives all types of refined products, its supply from the Baltics is slowly diminishing.
‘The largest import flows are fuel oil and diesel, and while Baltic flows – the largest supply region - declined toward the end of 2017, Baltic supply to the ARA region increased sharply in January with increased Russian output. And as ARA seemingly could not support all of that increase we saw Russian diesel and fuel oil diversifying to more and new destinations.
‘Distillate storage levels in ARA increased overall from about 4 million at the start of December to 4.7 million tons in early February, thanks to increased supply from east of Suez as well as Baltic.’
As a result of this demand, significant storage expansion projects are taking place at the Port of Antwerp thanks to a wave of multimillion euro investments.
Europe has already experienced a round of refinery consolidations as a result of shrinking demand and rising competitive pressures. As a result, imports to the region must increase.
Nery says that if there are further refinery consolidations in the future, increased imports are inevitable for Europe.
‘Diesel will continue to be supplied from the Baltics, US, Middle East and India but in increasing quantities as refining in those regions continues to strengthen and upgrade,’ he says.
‘This could also diminish Europe’s position as a key exporter of petrol to West Africa and the Americas.’
Nery identifies two key challenges facing the ARA in the future, namely increasing environmental regulations and growing blending requirements.
‘For both suppliers and producers, a future challenge will be increasing environmental regulations specifically regarding diesel. With the push to clean up emissions in major cities, it will be interesting to see how they handle the shift at storage terminals and refineries.
‘There may well also be increased need for blending operations to meet more diverse and changing specifications. For instance, we see less petrol going to West Africa and the US recently while more goes to the Middle East and Asia.’
Nery will be providing detailed market analysis across the ARA region in the morning of the first day of the StocExpo Europe conference at the Ahoy, Rotterdam from March 20 - 22. For more information visit www.stocexpo.com
Odfjell Terminals is extending and strengthening its existing jetty in Rotterdam to accommodate larger vessels.
Once complete, the jetty will be able to accommodate vessels of the LR2 (Long Range) size with a maximum of 160,000 dwt. The project is being carried out in close collaboration with the Port of Rotterdam.
Odfjell says this functionality will underpin the facility's mineral oil business and PID utilisation ambitions as ship sizes continue to increase. The terminal will be able to offer more possibilities to supply and store products in an efficient manner, for both existing and new customers.
The Port of Rotterdam is deepening the Nieuwe Waterweg and specifically the third Petroleumhaven where Odfjell is located to a depth of 15 meters. Both Odfjell and the Port Authority are jointly investing in attracting additional transhipment and storage customers to the port.
The jetty is expected to be complete by the last quarter of 2018.
Odfjell Terminals Rotterdam managing director Erik Kleine says: 'We are responding to the wishes of our customers to handle ever larger ships.'
Ronald Paul, COO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, adds: 'The expansion fits with our policy to revitalise the Botlek area. This is why Rijkwaterstaat and the Port Authority are also deepening the Nieuwe Waterweg this year.
Valero and SemGroup Europe have signed an agreement for Valero to purchase the SemLogistic's Milford Haven fuel storage facility in the UK.
The facility, located across the Haven from Valero's refinery at Pembroke, Wales, is one of the largest petroleum products storage facilities in the UK. It comprises 8.5 million barrels of capacity for storing petrol, petrol blendstocks, naphtha, jet fuel, gas oil, diesel and crude oil.
The facility will continue to operate as a third-party storage facility, offering storage options for third-party customers across the European petroleum markets. More than 67% of the capacity is multiproduct, giving Valero the flexibility to meet customers' demands in the UK and throughout northwest Europe.
The purchase is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2018.
Joe Gordor, Valero chairman, president and CEO, says: 'This facility complements our Pembroke refinery and fuel terminals in the UK and Ireland making it a natural fit for the company.
'This purchase demonstrates Valero's commitment to Wales and the UK, and it aligns with our strategy to grow the logistics business and reduce secondary costs.'
Stolthaven Terminals' Singapore facility has completed its first concurrent bunkering operation along with Stolt Tankers.
The chemical tanker Stolt Virtue was able to refuel whilst berthed alongside the Jurong Island facility at the same time as performing loading and discharging operations.
In addition to bunkering, other operations can also be completed during the loading and discharging of cargoes, such as nitrogen purging of ship tanks, concurrent ship-to-ship operations and concurrent transhipment.
Chok Vui Shung, general manager of Stolthaven Singapore says that this landmark operation offers potential cost saving for customers, improves ship turnaround times and increases safety because bunkering alongside can be better managed.
This development is aligned with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore's plans to close ALGAS anchorage for the expansion of Tuas Megaport.
The company says in a statement: 'With the increasing challenges faced by vessels, we see that there are likely to be more concurrent bunkering operations at Stolthaven Singapore through 2018 and beyond. This service has been and will be extended to all vessels that are coming into Stolthaven Singapore for operations.
S&P Global Platts has deployed a Blockchain network to allow market participants at Fujairah to submit weekly oil inventory storage data.
The full scale commercial deployment of the Blockchain distributed ledger technology allows the 11 terminal operators to submit their data to Fujairah Oil Industry Zone (FOIZ) and the regulator, FEDCom.
This offers FOIZ and its port operators security, together with ease of use, and a full audit trail to collate weekly inventory oil products storage data.
The network improves the manual and unstructured process by which the terminal operators previously communicated their weekly inventory numbers of FEDCom. It also alleviates the need for FEDCom to undertake manual validation and aggregation of each terminal operator's numbers, reducing the scope for human error.
The project will:
- Reduce the burden of manual data management for both FEDCom and the terminal operators
- Dynamic display of reported numbers at an aggregated or individual operator level
- Improve report quality by automatically validating numbers with predefined criteria and aggregating numbers, avoiding human input
- Simplifying the certification of asset ownership
- Improving security of data transmission and storage
FEDCom will have sole access to all individual terminal operator numbers and will submit only the approved, aggregated weekly numbers to S&P Global Platts for global distribution.
Sohail Iqbal, member development committee, FOIZ & Captain Salem Al-Hmoudi, member FEDCom, says: 'The innovation represents the next step forward in Fujairah's ambitions to become a global hub for commodity trading. It will allow our terminal operators to be at the forefront of technology while at the same time operating at the highest level of security.'
Mamdouh Malek Azizeh, commercial director, Fujairah Oil Terminal, adds: 'Blockchain innovation will allow Fujairah's terminal operators such as us to deliver operations in a more efficient and secure environment. We are delighted to take part in this process, which will allow Fujairah Oil Terminal to increase operational efficiency and data management security. The technology will allow us to deliver results under a secure and no risk environment, which are seminal to the energy industry.'
Total oil product stocks in the UAE port of Fujairah rose by 2.8% on the week, reaching 16.774 million b/d as of Monday February 19, as light distillates fell from last week's record high, and heavy distillates rebounded from a record low, according to latest data from the Fujairah Energy Data Committee, or FEDCom.
Stocks of light distillates fell 5.2% on the week to 8.202 million barrels. This is after stocks rose to a record high of 8.655 million barrels a week earlier.
Petrol markets in the US, Europe, and Asia are all currently weak, weighed down by heavy supply from refiners looking to meet gasoil and jet-kerosene demand, S&P Global Platts Analytics said in a report.
Meanwhile, spot petrol demand in the Middle East has been quiet, with no new tenders from usual buyers such as Kuwait Petroleum Corp and Dubai's Emarat reported since the beginning of February, the report said.
Stocks of middle distillates rose by 6.2%, or 146,000 barrels, on the week to 2.511 million barrels. But this is 37% lower year-on-year due to tighter supply following a colder-than-average winter as well as some major refinery outages in the region, Platts Analytics said.
The East-West gasoil EFS was minus $4.09/mt Tuesday, well below the levels to move extra gasoil flows to the West. Surplus barrels of low sulphur diesel from India and the Middle East are instead being diverted to Singapore. But jet cargoes continue to move to Europe in high volumes. Data from PJK International showed ARA jet kerosene stocks at a five-month low Tuesday.
Heavy distillates and residues stocks also rose 14.4% to 6.06 million barrels, rebounding after falling to a record low of 5.298 million barrels the week before. A flat market structure and mixed outlook for bunker demand is are likely to continue to keep inventories low, however.
The premium for Fujairah ex-wharf 380 CST bunker over cargoes -- indicative of the break-bulk margin -- has averaged $4.70/mt so far in 2018, compared to an average of $2.82/mt in Q4, 2017.
Green Plains Partners and Delek Logistics Partners have forms DKGP Energy Terminals, a joint venture in the light products terminalling business.
The 50/50 joint venture company signed a membership interest purchase agreement to acquire two light products terminals from an affiliate of American Midstream Partners for $138.5 million. These terminals are located in Caddo Mills, Texas and North Little Rock, Arkansas. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2018.
DKGP will comprise these acquired assets as well as assets contributed by Delek Logistics, with a total value of $162.5 million.
Immediately prior to the closing of the acquisition by the joint venture of American Midstream's assets, Delek Logistics will contribute to the joint venture its North Little Rock, Arkansas terminal and its Greenville tank farm in Caddo Mills, Texas.
Uzi Yemin, chairman and CEO of Delek Logsitics' general partner, says: 'We are excited to partner with Green Plains Partners for its potential ethanol volumes, logistics expertise and industry knowledge as the domestic markets expand blending.
'This is a great opportunity as it fits our strategy to grow through assets in the markets that we are very familiar with, and by contributing our complementary existing logistics assets in east Texas and Little Rock, we expect to create additional synergies within the joint venture.'
The shortlist of nominations for the 2018 Global Tank Storage Awards has been revealed.
Terminals from Asia, the US and Middle East, ports from Europe and the Middle East, and technological innovations ranging from robots, drones to automated systems and processes to and automatic loading arms are some of the companies and innovations included in the shortlist.
Click here to see the full list of more than 50 finalists.
The winners will be decided from a selection of technical experts from companies including BP, Shell, LBC, InterTerminals, Koole, VTTI, Oiltanking & Vopak. Two guest judges also join the selection panel: Concrete Canvas director Will Crawford and Ellen Ruhotas, managing director at Ratio Group.
This is for all categories except the Outstanding Achievement Award, which has been voted on by the industry.
Margaret Dunn, event coordinator for the Global Tank Storage Awards, says: 'We're absolutely delighted with the number of nominations we've received this year.
'The judges have a tough decision ahead of them! It's great to see such a diverse range of companies and sectors included in the shortlist.'
The winners will be announced at the gala dinner and awards ceremony at the Floating Pavilion, Rotterdam on March 20.
Tickets include a drinks reception, 3 course-meal, comedian, casino and entertainment throughout the evening.
Marcel Jutte, managing director of Hudson Cybertec, outlines the cyber security risks operators can face and why cyber security in operational technology is just as important as safety
Tank terminals use integrated systems in the operational technology (OT) domain to manage, control and maintain their installations.
Integration of legacy systems and infrastructure with new systems and infrastructure increases the complexity of the OT-domain. To increase efficiency, operators have the option to do their work from a variety of (remote) locations. Their continuous physical presence is no longer required in cases like on- and offloading barges. Tank terminal operations are increasingly dependent on its systems to operate the terminal in a safe manner due to the increased complexity of OT infrastructure and its networks.
This increased level of complexity in combination with increased dependency on integrated systems and centralised control of plant operations in the OT-domain increases the cyber security risks to terminals. The difference between the IT-domain and OT-domain implies that standards and best practices developed for systems in the IT-domain cannot be applied directly to systems in the OT-domain, since these standards do not take the specific OT-domain environment into account. Marcel Jutte, managing director of Hudson Cybertec, says: ‘Often IT cyber security standards are applied to the OT-domain resulting in an improper sense of security and introducing additional risk.’
CYBER SECURITY RISKS
Cyber security risks for tank terminals are present in all forms. Threats can originate from inside and outside an organisation and are continuously evolving. A company’s OT-domain cyber security needs to evolve as well.
The organisation should be prepared, up-to-date with the latest threats and perform cyber security checks regularly.
External actors include activists, competition, and organised crime groups, all with their own agenda, from disruption in operations (loading/unloading from barges), financial gain (stock manipulation) or industrial espionage (access to confidential data). Internal actors include disgruntled employees and third-party personnel that wittingly or unwittingly cause a cyber security incident. Caused by inadequate cyber security controls or lack of awareness due to lack of training. Other cyber security risks are related to the complex infrastructure where legacy equipment and networks are an integral part of the OT-infrastructure. Such equipment and networks were designed according to the standards, knowledge and best practices at the time. This causes cyber security risks since cyber security was not part of the original design. Jutte says: ‘Legacy infrastructure cyber security risks need to be identified by performing an independent cyber security review of the OT-domain.’
THE IMPORTANCE OF PEOPLE
The three pillars of cyber security are: people, process and technology. For security to work these pillars need to be in balance. Ideally cyber security should be an integral part of daily operations within an organisation, supported by the appropriate management systems, policies and procedures.
Cyber security related technology is already used within organisations, most common in the IT-domain and less in the OT-domain. Often the cyber security gap between these two different domains is more than five years.
The human factor of cyber security is often overlooked. Controls are in place for safety but are lacking in cyber security and this introduces cyber security threats. Users, including management, can unintentionally activate espionage malware by clicking on a link on a webpage or email or can introduce ransomware that encrypts data by connecting an infected device.
Recovery from such attacks is often difficult, time consuming and has significant financial impact. Third parties working onsite often use their own equipment, tools and computers to perform specific support and maintenance tasks. In some cases, these tasks are unsupervised. These threats are insufficiently controlled since they are not seen as a threat and can pose an elevated risk since it is not clear who is responsible for the cyber security of those introduced systems. Other threats include lack of policies and procedures to ensure proper access to systems with elevated functionality that allows third party personnel direct access to support sources outside what should be allowed.
For example, retrieving security patches from the internet from a workstation located in the OT-domain for which insufficient security measures were applied. Jutte adds: ‘People should be given the same emphasis in cyber security as in safety.’
IMPROVING CYBER SECURITY IN THE OT-DOMAIN
Security policies are the foundation for security measures and employee behavior while security procedures allow employees to act swiftly and correctly ensuring that no steps in the security process are skipped. These policies and procedures should emphasise the specific needs of OT-domain and the OT-organisation.
‘A cyber security training programme ensures that cyber security awareness with your employees is increased thereby diminishing the chance of a cyber security incident caused by human error. Threats are continuously evolving therefore training should be an integral part of an existing training programme,’ says Jutte.
Due to the nature of the OT-domain, security standards like the ISO27001/2 that were developed for the IT domain cannot directly be applied to the OT-domain. For industrial control systems specifically, an international standard was developed: the IEC 62443. This standard takes all the specifics of the OT domain into account.
PERIODIC CYBER SECURITY REVIEW
Taking the right security measures is only possible if companies know which measures really help. These decisions can only be made if companies know where they are today with the cyber security of their terminal.
An up-to-date independent review of an OT-domain against the IEC 62443 standard gives insight in the cyber security situation of the OT-domain of a terminal.
This can be used to develop or enhance cyber security within the OT-organisation, identify and mitigate risks. Jutte explains: ‘Experience shows that only if you know your current situation, you can take the appropriate action in case of an incident.’
Cyber security in the OT-domain is not a one-off exercise, it is an ongoing process due to the ever-evolving nature of the threats. A regular independent review or audit of an OT-domain against the IEC 62443 standard should become part of normal tank terminal operations just like safety is now.
Jutte adds: ‘Tank terminals need to manage the cyber security of their operational technology, just like they manage safety. I would say start now, before it is too late.’
Jutte will be speaking more about cyber security and how to protect terminals from cyber attacks on the second day of the StocExpo Europe conference, from March 20 - 22. For more information & to register, visit www.stocexpo.com.
Vesta Terminals will expand storage capacity at its Antwerp facility and add two additional barge berths.
The project comprises an additional 150,000 m3 as well as two additional barge berths. This project will involve demolishing parts of its current infrastructure and replacing it with larger thanks. The capacity will handle mainly middle distillates, light ends and heavy fuels.
Other storage projects are also progressing at the Port of Antwerp, which is looking to optimise current infrastructure as well as focus on new emerging markets, such as LNG and LPG.
Ineos, Oiltanking Antwerp Gas Terminal (OTAG) and TGE have broken ground on the world's largest LPG storage tank at the Port. Once complete, the project will mean that OTAG will be the largest independent gas terminal in North-West Europe.
Antwerp Terminal and Processing Company broke ground on the construction of a LPG and ethane storage facility in September 2017.
ITC Rubis has finished the construction of a new tank pit park, with two 10,000 m3 tanks.
Noord Natie Terminals are building additional storage capacity. The stainless steel tank fields N&O with a total capacity of 32,700 m3 will be operation by the end of the third quarter. The company is continuing to increase capacity until mid-2022.
Vopak is adding 67,000 m3 of marine gasoil storage at its Sebarok terminal in Singapore to strengthen its position as a bunker hub.
This expansion will allow the terminal to flexibly handle multiple fuels as a result of the IMO's global sulphur cap, which will come into effect in January 2020.
This follows Vopak's earlier announcement to expand capacity for petrol and biofuels at its Jakarta Tank Terminal.
Additionally, the storage company reported its 2017 financials, with an EBITDA of €763 million, a decrease of 4% compared to 2016.
It recorded an occupancy rate of 90%, compared to its 2016 occupancy rate of 93%m primarily as a result of less favourable oil market structures.
Its worldwide storage capacity increased by 1.2 million m3 to 35.9 million m3. Projects currently under development will add 3.1 million m3 of storage capacity by 2019.
The company expects its 2018 performance to be influenced by currency exchange movements of the US dollar and the Singapore dollar, and the currently less favourable oil market structure, which is having an impact on occupancy rates and price levels in hub locations.
It says in its financial reports that with its current expansion programme and its cost efficiency programme, it has the potential to significantly improve its 2019 EBITDA.
Eelco Hoekstra, chairman of the executive board and CEO, says: 'We aim to identify and seize growth opportunities swiftly, ensure timely completion of projects under development and step up the global roll-out of our new digital systems.
'Vopak's growth strategy is directed towards chemical terminals and gas markets, while facilitating the increasing demand for fuels in emerging countries. We will continue to explore and find new possibilities within the LNG infrastructure market, to expand our role as a service provider in the LNG value chain.
'We have taken strategic decisions regarding technology, and we are making substantial investments to deliver the full benefits of the digital transformation in future years to our customers and shareholders.'
Vopak plans to build an additional 100,000 m3 of storage capacity for petrol and biofuels at its Jakarta terminal.
The expansion of the Jakarta Tank Terminal will take total tank capacity at the facility to more than 350,000 m3.
The project will comprise eight additional tanks for petrol, ethanol and biodiesel, a vapour recovery unit and additional (in-line) blending infrastructure, which will allow its customers to comply with Indonesia's Biofuel Blending Mandate regulations.
Jakarta Tank Terminal, a JV between Vopak and PT AKR Corporindo, is strategically located in Tanjung Priok, the main port of Jakarta and serves the import and distribution market in the greater Jakarta region for fuel products.
Demand for tank storage facilities is expected to increase both with the expansion of petrol distribution by existing players as with the market entry of new players.
The expansion is expected to be commissioned in phases from the first quarter to the fourth quarter 2019.
The government of the Bahamas has approved Oban Energies plans to build an oil refinery and storage facility in Grand Bahama.
The $4 billion project will provide storage for crude oils, residual fuel oils, middle and light distillates, specialty vegetable oil and heavy oils.
It will have an initial capacity of four million barrels and will comprise a harbour, and deep sea-loading docks to service large vessels as well as the construction of a 50,000 barrel per day refinery.
Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis says: 'We are on the road to revitalising both Grand Bahama and the entire Bahamas.
'Oban will build [an] up to 20 million barrel liquid bulk storage facility and a 250,000 barrel per day refinery. The oil refinery has an estimated project cost of up to $4 billion and the terminal has an estimated cost of $1.5 billion.
'This is a very significant development for Grand Bahama.'
Stolthaven Terminals achieved a slight increase in operating revenue thanks to higher storage and throughput revenue.
The company reported operating revenue of $61.4 million in its fourth quarter financials, compared with $61 million in the third quarter. However, higher storage and throughput revenue was partially offset by lower demand for steam and nitrogen services in Houston, and by lower US rail freight revenue.
It reported fourth quarter operating profit of $5.4 million, down from $16 in the third quarter. This decrease includes an $8.4 million one-time impairment of assets at its New Zealand facility, resulting from the forthcoming expiration of land leases at two sites and the impact of weaker local market conditions and lower equity income from the company's joint venture terminals in Lingang, China and in Antwerp.
Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, CEO of Stolt-Nielsen, says: 'Stolt-Nielsen's fourth quarter results reflected the negative impact of one-time charges related to impairments and extraordinary events.
'Except for the effects Hurricane Harvey had on Stolthaven Houston, our terminal business had another steady quarter.
'Our outlook for the first half of 2018 remains essentially unchanged. For Stolthaven Terminals, we continue to expect a modest but steady improvement in results, driven by operational improvements and better utilisation.