Efforts to improve and promote the Mediterranean region as a logistics and hub platform alternative to the ARA region have gained momentum in recent years.
Several key players have launched initiatives to elevate the region as another gateway into Europe, including the Port of Tarragona, Spain, with executives believing that collaboration between core logistics sectors such as shipping, tank storage and ports is the key to capturing these trade flows.
The port’s second Mediterranean hub workshop will explore what potential exists for the Mediterranean region, as well as ways to make the region more competitive and attract more trade flows.
Charles Misseghers, analyst and support at UMF (Maritime and Fluvial Union of Marseille Fos), will be speaking in greater detail about how a Mediterranean platform will further optimise petrochemical distribution.
In an interview with Tank Storage Magazine, Misseghers says that a Mediterranean platform will offer a range of new possibilities for shipowners, logistics companies and petrochemical companies.
‘The Mediterranean region has all the assets that the north has and has perfect weather conditions for maritime and logistics. Not only that, we are also as well connected as the north range to pipelines and railways.
‘The region is already a hub for petrochemicals due to the lack of space and congestion in the north. It also has good intermodality and is an ideal link with the rest of the Mediterranean countries.’
Misseghers also believes that collaboration between all of the actors in the region is key to making this ambition a success.
‘There needs to be co-operation between all of the private actors with the full support from public actors. Also, there needs to be no competition between ports to foster collaboration.’
In addition to the conference, featuring sessions on European petrochemical markets trends, the storage market trends and competitiveness as well as an analysis of current flows in the Mediterranean, delegates will also be given a tour of the port’s chemical quay and Tepsa’s terminal, which is currently undergoing an expansion.
The expansion will take place over three phases. The first, which comprises the construction of six tanks with 15,500 m3 of capacity, will be complete by the second quarter of 2019. Four of the six tanks have already been built.
The second phase is due to be complete in 2020 and the final phase will be finished in 2022. Once complete, the facility will have more than 100,000 m3 of storage capacity.
Speaking to Tank Storage Magazine, Gonzalo Rey, terminal manager, Tepsa Tarragona, says: ‘The evolution of the chemical cluster in Tarragona is encouraging a solid expansion period, with some companies announcing plans to increase their production capacities.
Tepsa’s mission is to be part of the supply chain of our customers and helping them to optimise it.
‘Thus, we believe we have to accompany our customers in their growth plans by developing new storage solutions for them with state-of-the-art facilities.’
Rey says that Tarragona has a strong geostrategic and commercial position next to the ChemMed, one of the most important petrochemical clusters in southern Europe, underscoring its importance for trade flows from the East to the West. It also boasts efficient infrastructure, allowing the terminal to offer a flexible service to its customers.
The company, working with port officials, is presenting new facilities in the chemical quay to current and potential new customers to help further promote hub activity.
‘Tarragona offers one of the best infrastructures in the Western Mediterranean for ship owners and ship agent customers. This event is a great opportunity to meet producers, stakeholders and potential clients as well as promoting open discussion to find new opportunities and improvements in our sector.’
The event will take place on November 22 and 23 at the Port of Tarragona. For more information, visit www.hubday2018.eventbrite.es