Tank Storage Magazine v02 i03

40.00

Volume: 2
Issue: 3
Date Published: September 1, 2006

Category:

Headlines

INVESTMENT IN THE STORAGE SECTOR

The upstream side of the energy business has already seen reserves changing hands for record prices. Now those premiums are moving downstream as investors seek to gain purchase in the lucrative energy chain. "Any energy related infrastructure is very attractive and highly marketable right now," says Gunvor Ellingsen, associate director of oil and gas M&A firm Scotia Waterous, which is handling Worldpoint's sale of its Europoint terminalling business in the Netherlands. What's more, buyers are no longer the usual suspects of industry operators seeking to gain market share or secure strategic assets. The summer months saw a subsidiary of the Australian investment bank Macquarie - Macquarie International Infrastructure Fund (MIIF) - buy eight oil and chemical storage facilities in Germany from Petroplus International for €33 million. This follows on from MIIF's €45 million acquisition of TanQuid Tank Storage Business (TSB), the largest independent provider of oil storage services in Germany. Gavin Kerr, incoming managing director of MIIF, sees plenty of attractions in the tank storage sector, not least stable and predictable revenues underpinned by long term contracts with credit worthy customers and the opportunity to extract operating and structural synergies. MIIF now plans to integrate TSB and Petroplus to increase TSB's market share to 25%, strip out costs and optimise revenues. It is also eying further acquisition opportunities. “The tank storage sector is a fragmented market,” says Kerr. “TSB and Petroplus together compose the largest independent provider of oil storage services in Germany yet represent only 25% of market share. We see the opportunity for further synergistic consolidation acquisitions in this market.” Macquarie Bank is not alone. Investment banks, hedge funds and private equity houses are also queuing up to buy into this market - and they have the financial muscle to move valuations to another level. “With more buyers, the market is getting very competitive,” says Ellingsen. “There's so much cash in the system but relatively few opportunities to spend it.” A case in point is the recent bidding war for TransMontaigne Inc, which saw banking colossus Morgan Stanley Capital Group outgun privately-owned midstream energy player SemGroup. 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


PROFILE

In the Middle East, a region that continues to be dominated by fullyintegrated state-owned entities, independent terminal operators are few and far between. Horizon Terminals Ltd (HTL), created in April 2003 by parent company Emirates National Oil Co (ENOC) calls itself independent and, although 100%-owned by ENOC, is managed and operated as a separate entity. Headquartered within the ENOC Complex building in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, HTL was established to capture what ENOC's management saw as growing opportunities in the global storage arena. This year has seen a flurry of announcements from the company, either of brand new facilities, acquisitions or expansions of existing terminals, and HTL seems to be following its brief to the letter. “ENOC only had a few terminals which were either directly managed or where ENOC was only a sleeping partner,” says HTL's Chief Executive Officer Yusr Sultan. “The new holding company was established to enter the bulk liquid terminalling business on a global basis as it has been identified as an area of growth by the management of the Group.” Although it does store products (oil, chemicals and liquefied petroleum gas) for companies within the ENOC group in the UAE and abroad, its principal aim is to offer storage capacity to a wide range of customers, whether storage, blending or bunkering, in its focus locations. 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 FOCUS: THE MIDDLE EAST

The history and significance of the Middle East in terms of production and transhipment of oil and petroleum products is indisputable. As the Middle East evolves from a producer, storer and transporter mainly of raw crude oil, to a producer of refined petroleum products, opportunities for the storage of such products is booming. Now the market for petrochemicals is surging too, with the main driver for new production plants being the abundance of attractively priced gas feedstock. Industry indications are that, over the next decade, current global capacity for ethylene will rise by some 30 million metric tons and, of that additional capacity, 40% will be in the Middle East. Driving sector growth right now are the record oil prices that the crude market has been experiencing, which are expected to lead to a resurgence in new refinery construction and expansion of existing plants. Other growth factors include healthy global refinery operating rates; the hungry markets - particularly for naphtha - of China and other parts of Asia; plus the Middle East's own growing product demand. Victor Shum, senior principal at energy consultants Purvin and Gertz, says: “The Middle East will continue to expand refining capacity to serve both domestic and export markets. One key demand driver of the third-party terminal services business is the profitability of the petroleum refining industry. Over the last few years, strong refinery margins and high refinery utilisation rates have increased the willingness and need to use third-party services. The anticipated high refinery operating rates should be supportive of a robust business environment for third-party terminal operators.” Mr Shun adds that although a number of refinery projects have been announced in the Middle East, the timing of these projects means that exports will not significantly increase until after 2010, since product demand in the Middle East region itself is growing rapidly. 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


DUBAI STOCEXPO PREVIEW

StocExpo Middle East will address major areas of concern to oil and chemical terminal operators and suppliers in the region who are currently assessing the likely impact of incoming regulations. A highlevel audience from across the Middle East will, over two days, gain insight into the latest developments in the regulatory process, best practice and technological developments affecting the storage of petroleum products and petrochemicals. Papers from senior representatives of some of the region's key operators and suppliers will facilitate discussion and knowledge sharing to enable safer, more efficient and more costeffective management of tank farms. The programme has been carefully vetted by an experienced panel of industry experts from Adnoc, Emarat, Saudi Aramco, Star Energy Oiltaking and Vopak. A concurrent exhibition will showcase the latest advances in equipment and service provision for the sector. Visit www.stocexpomiddleeast.com for the full conference programme & list of exhibitors. 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


ILTA IN PICTURES

A photo montage of some moments from June's ILTA show in Houston.


STOCWATCH

Countdown to StocExpo Middle East in September 2006, and its European counterpart, StocExpo Antwerp in March 2007.


INSPECTION & LEAK DETECTION

Founded in 1935 to blend and sell lube oil, Coast Oil Company - based in San Francisco Bay, Northern California - is today one of the largest distributors of gasoline, diesel fuel, and lubricants in the USA. To meet Regional Water Quality Control Board standards for the prevention of ground water pollution, the company recently installed new leak detection equipment at its San Jose tank farm. The particular challenge was to retro-fit an exiting facility with stare-of-art leak detection to monitor the soil below the above ground storage tanks while keeping the normal day-to-day business running smoothly. The solution chosen was Tyco Thermal Controls' TraceTek 5000 sensor cable installed in slotted PVC pipe. The sensor cable is a popular AST leak detection solution, but in the past has been installed in large facilities with widely spaced tanks where manoeuvring the construction equipment was not a serious challenge. In Coast Oil's San Jose facility, the cable was being fitted to 12 tanks that were relatively small in diameter and very tightly packed. The standard technique for installing the sensor cable is to position slotted PVC conduit beneath the tank floor plates using horizontal boring equipment. For the Coast Oil project, the limited working space proved to be a major problem. The installation contractor - CorrPro Companies Inc - used its smallest and most manoeuvrable horizontal drilling machine, operating an air-ram boring tool rather than a rotating drill bit. At the perimeter of the tanks, the horizontal conduit was fitted with a vertical riser and a small junction box. 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


SECONDARY CONTAINMENT

Secondary containment to prevent pollution is an issue which crops up more and more in environmental regulations. Legally, tank farm owners are not only responsible for the cost of incidents, but also for the lack of action to prevent possible pollution - a fact that is causing operators to sit up and take notice. New tank farms are designed in such a way that any leaks from tanks are contained both horizontally and vertically. To contain leaks and spillage in the horizontal direction, tank pits are constructed with bund walls consisting of sand, clay, concrete, sheet piles and/or secondary tank walls. To stop the flow of potential pollution in the vertical direction, gasses and product are contained by means of secondary seals, domes and vapor recovery systems. Beneath the tank, the potential solutions include the installation of a second bottom (double bottom) or membranes. There are various reasons why a tank farm operator might choose one or the other solution. Few older tanks have liners or other secondary containment devices beneath them. Many tanks were built 20 or more years ago, when environmental regulations were less strict. But globally the awareness of the hazard of leaking tank bottoms is growing - and with this globalization, stricter rules are being applied worldwide. A second tank bottom is the requirement in some jurisdictions, and it is a rather cheap solution at the construction stage. However, the cost of maintenance and repairs could cause problems on the long run, especially where soil conditions are weak, humid and subject to continuous movements. 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


OPEN CONNECTIVITY

As knowledge is the most precious commodity in business today, the biggest challenge facing terminal managers is to deliver relevant information at the right time, in the right form, to the right people. Information availability starts with the ability to capture data at the point of activity. Intelligent devices For more than 20 years tank gauges and flow computers have provided information not only on the primary process variable, but also on the whole range of other variables that are important for the calculation of the product volume. Diagnostic information like health status and data integrity is taken into account to make absolutely sure that the correct volume is calculated. The inventory information is of little use when the information is only available in the device itself. Since the amount of information provided by the flow computers and gauges - and collected and processed in gauge interface units - cannot be communicated efficiently by using conventional analogue signals, the information is transported digitally using networks and protocols. Ethernet backbones are becoming commonplace at terminals. Ethernet is becoming the single information backbone throughout an enterprise. The use of (High Speed) Ethernet combined with the continuous increasing processing power and the use of standard protocols and programs makes it possible not only to make the inventory information available in the interface units, but also the presentation method as well as the protocol to speak, keeping the relevant information where it belongs: at the point of capturing. Integrated JAVA capabilities provide pre-configured dynamic on-board interpretation tools and dashboards in the format of HTML pages presenting only relevant processed real-time information that allow the user to make instant decisions on facts and not on assumptions. The embedded web server provides access to the information via the preconfigured dynamic web pages. Internet protocols such as Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to transfer hypertext describing web pages, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) to send emails, and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to transfer data files, such as density and temperature profiles as well as reports, are available to enable easy data transfer and access to critical process and device data via virtual private networks from anywhere at any time. 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


TERMINAL AUTOMATION

In line with ADNOC's corporate strategy of investing in the future of the company's infrastructure and personnel, ADNOC Distribution decided to upgrade an existing FuelsManager version 4.0 system at the Beda Zayed depot. When investigating possible solutions, ADNOC decided that Varec's FuelsManager Oil & Gas version 7.0 should be the driving force behind our current inventory tank gauging requirements. The single facility upgrade that was initially envisioned turned into a complete integration of four marketing distribution terminals - with a road plan for upgrading all seven ADNOC terminals in the future. Existing equipment ADNOC used a leading manufacturer's tank gauging operator software at a large terminal in the city of Mussafah. The terminal incorporated two smaller facilities - an LPG depot and a multi-product depot. The tank gauging software was installed on MS-DOS and connected through a pair of central interface units to servo gauges on 14 tanks. At the multi-product depot, the software also interfaced with a separate Fuel Accounting software that controlled load rack operations. The A-B PLC system consisting of Prosoft Modbus Modules was integrated with the Fuels Manager, with tank parameters and alarms being generated at FM and passed onto PLC for faster response, rather than the alarms being generated at the PLC with the tank parameters. 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

“Houston, we have a problem” became a famous quote during the Apollo 13 space mission, over 30 years ago. Today, despite popular belief, Houston does not have a problem - especially when it comes to employing some of the most talented and experienced people in the petroleum industry, many of whom are based in Houston. Terminal automation specialist AC2, Inc has been headquartered in Houston since it was established in 1994, and recently the company's experienced team helped Allied Terminals to achieve important business goals through upgrading its automation system. Allied Terminals has been a customer of AC2 since 1999 and has just recently decided to upgrade to the latest software revision, which includes the Microsoft SQL Server® database and Microsoft .NET® applications. Allied Terminals is a forhire full service company, which currently operates two throughput distribution terminals offering petroleum and chemical storage and terminalling services in Chesapeake and Norfolk Virginia. Dee Bell, Director of Automated Systems for Allied Terminals, says: “Allied Terminals' business goals can be grouped into three primary categories: Information Management - Provide timely information to our customers to enhance their business capabilities. Product Management - Handle our customer's product with care by documenting and accounting for all product movements including receipts and disbursements.” 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


ROOFS & DOMES

Korean dome specialist, World Bridge, has developed its own version of the Aluminium Geodesic Dome Roof, in conjunction with a local Korean university and its own R&D laboratory. The resulting product - the WB DOME - is a clear span, self supporting structure which provides all the well known advantages of aluminium domes, such as low maintenance requirements and high environmental benefits. World Bridge also emphasises the versatility of the structure. “The WB aluminium dome is designed and engineered to offer exceptional adaptability and versatility,” says the company. “It can be easily relocated, expanded or reduced.” The WB DOME - which can be built for tanks from 5m to 100m in diameter - is a preengineered and pre-fabricated light weight aluminium framed structure ready to be assembled on site with minimal or no site preparation. A recent project for a local customer was typical of a World Bridge installation, with a no-fuss, fast-turnaround but methodical assembly method that proceeded smoothly from start to finish. 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