Storage and logistics provider GPS Group and downstream energy company VARO Energy have begun the construction of a new railway line and dedicated ethanol storage tanks at the Port of Amsterdam.
The railway line will connect 17 class 1 tanks in the Port and GPS’ storage and blending facilities, with the main railway system of the Netherlands and Europe. The Port of Amsterdam itself is a partner and close supporter of the project, having worked with GPS in its development. The railway aligns with the Port of Amsterdam’s sustainability objectives, as it is a more environmentally friendly mode of transport. The railway will also provide flexibility for VARO’s supply chain, and offer a useful transport alternative to the Rhine, with its fluctuating water levels.
The new storage tanks will take the total capacity of GPS Amsterdam from 282,000 m3 to just under 300,000 m3. Alongside the railway line, the expansion will support growing production needs, particularly for biofuels and gases. GPS says that it is seeing growing demand for its services.
GPS and VARO say that the project represents an expansion of their existing partnership, which began in 2016 when GPS bought VARO’s Hydrocarbon Hotel (HCH) storage and blending terminal in the Port of Amsterdam. VARO continues to use the terminal’s capacity and in December 2019 GPS commissioned 134,000 m3 of Class 1 storage for VARO at the site.
‘This is an important investment that will open up a whole range of new possibilities to support both our client’s and our own further expansion plans, especially in the important focus area of [environmental, social and corporate governance] ESG, where we aim to continue to identify more environmentally friendly logistics alternatives for our clients and sustainable business cases in growth segments such as biofuels and gases, says GPS CEO Eric Arnold, adding that the second expansion in less than a year represents the company’s commitment to ‘unlocking the full potential of the site.’
Roger Brown, CEO of VARO Energy, says: ‘VARO already plays an important role in delivering renewable biofuels to its customers across Europe. This expansion of the Amsterdam terminal facilities significantly increases our ability to blend and distribute such renewable fuels in line with VARO’s overall growth strategy in this sector.’