Counting the cost of Hurricane Katrina.
Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina • Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina • Kinder Morgan acquisitions • Crude Holdings buys stake in World Point • De Rijke taking over Wetro Europoort • Floating Storage Oil Unit for Ghana • New Westway brand name • TEPPCO buys Houston assets • Vopak developments in Rotterdam and China • Valero in Mexican pipeline deal • Valero sells pipeline and terminals • Titan investment in China • Tekfen wins Kuwait order • Sunoco completes Texas acquisition • Oiltanking expands in Singapore, Oman and China • Plains All American builds terminal in Louisiana • Oiltanking adapts for chemicals at Tallinn • Hyundai wins tank order • Eastern Tankstore branches out in China • Qingdao in joint venture • Chemicals associations team up
BRC chooses Endress+Hauser system • Tankbank forge strategic relationship • Portable gauges with automation benefits • Emerson's new flowmeter
Tokyo MOU inspection crackdown • Tougher EC sanctions for ship-source pollution • China, Australia and UK make shippers pay for oil spills • Tankers visiting Valdez must pay property tax
Profile: Ulf Vleeshouwers, Managing Director of Nordic Storage, talks about the challenges and opportunities of being a terminal operator in the Baltic region...
In recent times, contango in the oil market has been a key business driver for terminal operators in the Baltic, says Ulf Vleeshouwers. Speculation on the future price of oil has increased the demand for storage. Clients of Nordic Storage are also using its deepwater Baltic terminals to build up bulk volumes of oil products coming out of Russia, and then ship them long haul when the price is right. "We have terminals at Stigsnaes and Aabenraa in Denmark which can take very large crude carriers with the maximum Baltic draft of 15 metres," says Ulf. "We accumulate small cargoes of oil products, which are then transhipped in larger lots to the USA and Asia." It's good business for Nordic Storage, which controls around 2.5 million cu m of liquid bulk storage capacity at around 22 terminals in Sweden and Denmark, and is ideally placed to take advantage of the trend. But speculationdriven storage is also a somewhat fickle business. "Contango is very unpredictable," says Ulf. "You can't live on it because it comes around so seldom." Fortunately for Nordic, speculation is only one of the reasons why storage and transhipment out of Baltic ports is attractive to buyers. The economies of scale to be gained from building up bulk cargoes and then shipping them out on large carriers mean that even without the contango factor, Nordic Storage's deepwater terminals would be in demand. Around 120 million tons of Russian oil products sail out of the Baltic each year. While much of that is destined for Rotterdam, Antwerp and Amsterdam, a lot of it is going long haul. Nordic has the capacity to tranship about 2-3 million tons of it. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details
REGIONAL SURVEY: BALTIC
National oil companies in the Middle East guard their nations oil wealth closely, so there's limited room for independents in the energy sector. Helen Campbell seeks out the terminal operators who are looking for opportunities in this region. With countries in the Middle East topping global energy producers' ranks, the region's role in the oil industry is undeniable. However, national companies like Saudi Aramco, Kuwait Petroleum Corp and Qatar Petroleum guard their resource rich country's oil wealth - symbolic of national and economic security - so closely that there is limited room for independents and foreign 'outsiders' in the energy sector, particularly in the Gulf. Storage operations are no exception. On the Mediterranean, in countries such as Lebanon, Syria and Israel, whose indigenous production profiles are much lower, independent terminal operators are more common and there are new opportunities on the horizon, particularly in Syria and Israel. The Middle East terminal business is nevertheless dominated by national and local companies, with foreign joint ventures few and far between. Oiltanking, Vopak, Petroplus, BP Marine and Shell Chemicals are among the handful of foreign operators who have made some headway in the region's storage infrastructure, but not all have necessarily remained there. Alongside massive crude exports, many of the nations around the Gulf and Red Sea are increasing their production and exports of refined products and chemicals, meaning growth in the need for storage and export facilities.
FALLS FROM HEIGHT
The UK government introduced new Work at Height legislation in April 2005 in an attempt to tackle the problem of falls from height, which account for nearly 15% of all workplace accidents in Britain and are the biggest cause of fatal injuries. The new UK regulations place duties on employers to ensure that: all work at height is properly planned and organised those involved in work at height are competent the risks are assessed and appropriate work equipment is used the risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled and equipment for work at height is properly inspected and maintained. To support the new legislation, the British Standards Institute has published a new Standard: BS 8437:2005 and Code of practice for the selection, use and maintenance of personal fall protection systems and equipment for use in the workplace. Since the new rules came into force, UK safety equipment suppliers have seen a marked rise in the number of enquiries. "We've had a surge of people ringing us up in a panic since the legislation came in," says Alec Keeler of Loadtec Engineered Systems Ltd, the European distributor for US bulk loading and fall prevention specialist, Carbis. "The risk of falling from tanker tops is a subject of increasing concern." To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details
Despite a huge 80% increase in floorspace from the 2005 event, StocExpo 2006 looks well on the way to being a sell out. At time of writing, over 100 booths had already been booked for next year's event in Rotterdam, which aims to build on this year's success. StocExpo 2005 was visited by some 1,000 people, representing companies such as BASF, BP, Shell, Lyondell, Nerefco, ExxonMobil, Esso, Vopak and Oiltanking, to name just a few. Proving itself to be in international event with a European base, it attracted visitors and exhibitors from 37 different nationalities, spanning all continents across the globe. Feedback from exhibitors has been very positive. "I congratulate StocExpo for its good organisation," said Michael Krause, Endress and Hauser, Germany."The focus on bulk liquid storage terminal operations gave us the chance to introduce ourselves and speak to a lot of experienced visitors within this field." Visit www.stocexpo.com for full details of the 2006 event. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details
For the second year running, the ILTA's annual conference and trade show took place at the Hilton Americas-Houston and the adjacent George R. Brown Convention Center. The conference and trade show were condensed into a three-day event, which gave conference attendees the chance to visit the trade show and still make it back to the office well before the end of the week. It was a winning combination for both delegates and exhibitors. More than 200 companies took booths at the trade show, with several exhibitors giving presentations. These included Control Systems International, which talked about shortening the supply chain to improve profits, Emco Wheaton USA Inc., which gave a talk on the differences of loading and unloading arms in various world markets, and Lubrizol, which discussed ethanol blending as well as diesel fuel lubricity solutions. Presentations were also give by FuelQuest, FreeWave Technologies, Photon Control Inc., World Telemetry, Gauging Systems Inc., PE, Godwin Pumps and Vista Leak Detection. Varec, TankBank, Allentech, SAAB Rosemount, HMT and Rosen were among the show sponsors. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details
TANK INSPECTION & LEAK DETECTION
I f you ask anybody involved in tank inspection - from the technology manufacturers and service providers to consultants and the tank owners themselves - what the most significant development has been in the inspection and leak detection market in the past five years, you'll get a different answer every time. Method suitability varies widely according to an individual tank's age, history and current product usage and turnover. It also varies from operator to operator, depending on country of operation and the regulatory situation, tank location, number of tanks and commercial position at any given time. Favoured conventional methods in the field of non-destructive testing (NDT) remain acoustic emissions, ultrasonic testing (UT), floor scanners and magnetic flux technology (MFT). Worldwide, tank owners are increasingly being required to inspect their tanks based on API 653 but many are also subject to local or national regulations that are sometimes more prescriptive, such as in Sweden. Most operators aim to match inspection method, reliability and costs with the level of risk or likelihood of a tank problem and industry standards. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details
VALVES, ACTUATORS & COUPLINGS
Today's valves, actuators and couplings are expected to meet a wide range of increasingly stringent demands, as terminal operators grapple with the issues of safety and environmental regulation - while also focusing on process automation and cost control. "Explosion-proof", "non-leaking", "fast-disconnecting" and "failsafe" are just a few of the adjectives that get bandied around when talking about this technology, which has to combine the intricacies of modern design with good old fashioned robustness. But suppliers are shaping up well to the task of providing terminal operators with exactly what they need. Break away safely Remote monitoring and control is becoming a feature in the design of couplings and accessories. The latest development from TODO is a hose unit with magnetic switch that allows remote monitoring of the coupling connection and disconnection functions. The signal can also be interfaced with brake interlocks, pump start up and shut down systems, says TODO. No modification of the tank unit coupling half is. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details
Automation technology developers continually adapt to the tightening requirements for safety, security and environmental protection. But they're also delivering cutting edge solutions to meet the other key demands of terminal operators: data integration and connectivity. Major market providers are seeking to fill these gaps with new products; and there is evidence that these issues will influence the sector in the years ahead, as large corporations reorganize their supply-chains for global operations, and demand more precise control of inventories. Mark Olinger, head of corporate communications at Control Systems International (CSI), says that corporations managing bulk commodities are seeking to shorten supply chain reporting, and improve the accuracy and timeliness of information reaching their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. "Organizations are faced with obtaining data from various disparate systems," he says. "Companies are realizing the true cost of isolated nonintegrated automation solutions. These islands of automation create roadblocks to the movement of real-time data, add to the cost of obtaining data, and increase the long-term cost of maintaining a supply-chain automation infrastructure." To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details
TANK ROOFS AND DOMES
While more than 10,000 aluminium domes have been installed on petrochemical storage tanks in the United States, only a fraction of that number have been installed in the rest of the world says Jeannie Campbell, Vice President at aluminium dome supplier Conservatek. "Although aluminium domes have been in service on petrochemical storage tanks in the United States since the 1970's, they only began to be used in the rest of the world in the 1990s," she says. One possible reason for this is that the largest suppliers of aluminium domes are in the US, and none of these companies is particularly large. "Selling internationally is not something a company does until it reaches a certain size," suggests Campbell. Conservatek, for example, which started up in 1977, began turning its attention to the internaitonal market between 10 and 15 years ago, but only in the last two years has international business been significant for the company. In a more general way, Campbell suggests that terminal operators are "a little suspicious of what they regard as new technology", which may help to explain why aluminium domes, with their host of advantages, are not used more widely. Another source or resistance may be tank builders, she adds, some of whom may prefer to build a steel roof than buy an aluminium dome and install it. "The make more profit if they build the roof themesleves," says Campbell. At the customer level, some terminal operators may still be unaware of the technology, or have doubts about its performance and durability, she adds. But these attitudes are starting to change . To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details
The revised standard is now known as "Standard for the Inspection of Aboveground Storage Tanks." It incorporates key changes such as: A risk-based inspection schedule. Tanks with a means of detecting a release of product are inspected less frequently. A system must be capable of diverting leaked product and/or incorporating a release-prevention barrier while providing for prompt detection through periodic inspection by the owner. Single-wall tanks sitting directly on soil pose the greatest risk for an incident and therefore require more frequent inspections. Inspection of field-erected tanks up to a maximum 30 foot (9.14m) diameter and a maximum shell height of 50 feet (15.24m) - which would equate to a capacity of about 265,000 gallons (1,002,840 litres). This will allow one inspector to inspect virtually all tanks at a facility where both field-erected and shopfabricated tanks are installed. Other significant changes include sections on safety considerations, inspection of portable containers (55 gallons or more), suitability-forcontinued- service guidance, and expanded periodic inspection checklists. To read this article in full you will need to subscribe to Tank Storage Magazine or buy the back-issue. Click here for further details