Tank Storage Magazine v09 i04


Volume: 9
Issue: 4
Date Published: July 22, 2013



Uruguay gets connected

Schandy, a partner of Latin American forwarding and logistics network Ultramar Logistics, is building Uruguay’s first independent tank terminal with a pipeline connection to a port. Schandy already operates one inland tank farm and is due to complete a second, connected to the port of Nueva Palmira, by the end of July. The company discharged its first vessel on 22 June and started dispatching fertilizer on the following day, based on a five year contract in place with an oil, gas and fertiliser business. Everything is set to finalise the details to discharge a full load during the second half of July. The first stage of the new terminal has a capacity of 11,000m3, consisting of five tanks. The tanks will be capable of storing liquid fertilisers such as urea ammonium nitrate (UAN). The company plans for a second stage for additional tanks to be built for fertilisers and to store vegetable oil and fuels.

Full Brazilian?

With the approval of 52 new private port terminals, the country is set for significant growth   Brazil’s liquid storage market has started to enter an important new growth phase. A number of terminal operators are launching third party storage expansion schemes to increase capacity at existing terminals and to develop large new terminals in various different areas of the country. Growing export orders for vegetable oils and biofuels are forecasted to lift demand for liquid storage capacity in Brazil as global markets recover. An awaited expansion in refining activities is expected at the same time to lift demand for independent storage as staterun refineries look to outsource part of their storage needs, while crude production from new oil fields also will help lift storage needs in future. At the start of July, Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff, announced approval for construction of 52 new private port terminals from a list of 129 proposed port terminal projects currently being assessed by the government, including 11 new liquid cargo terminals.

Opening up the Pana-ramic view

Tank Storage magazine catches up with a project in Panama aimed at widening its famous canal to increase options for bunker and liquid cargo storage   Now at the halfway stage, Panama’s $5.2 billion (€3.9 billion) canal expansion programme (PCEP) is expected to have a major impact on the international marine cargo transport industry once work to widen and deepen the 77km waterway, plus construction of a third set of locks, is completed in 2015. The expansion project has been planned as a way to increase the volume and size of vessels transiting the waterway. Demand for bunkering and storage facilities for marine fuels is expected to increase via the growth of permitted shipping through the widened Panama Canal. The impact of the widening on Panama’s third party liquid storage industry for other cargos, including petroleum, biofuels, chemicals and edible oil, is less clear at present.

Turkey: more pros than cons

These are interesting times to be writing about Turkey. This strategically located country, at the crossroads of energy and trading routes linking East and West, has been gripped by weeks of protest and an increasingly authoritarian response from the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who came to power in 2003 and led his Islamic-leaning Justice and Development Party (AKP) to three election victories. Ten years on from his first election win, a decade that has brought stability and economy prosperity after the troubles of the 1990s, and Erdogan, a devout Muslim who has vowed to respect Turkey’s prized secular traditions, is facing the first major protests against his rule. Many of those taking to the streets, initially in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, and subsequently across the country, cite growing concern at what they perceive to be an undermining of secularism following a failed bid to criminalise adultery and proposals to introduce alcohol-free zones. In addition to the police’s use of water cannons and tear gas, Erdogan’s response to the protests has been couched in inflammatory language, aligning the protesters with foreign media and financial speculators. It is the kind of rhetoric international investors are used to hearing from countries like Venezuela and Iran but not from Turkey, an economic powerhouse. It delivered growth of 8.5% in 2011, although this slowed to 2.2% last year, and was lauded as an exemplar during the turmoil of the Arab Spring. The response has spooked the markets, with the stock market taking a beating and Germany postponing talks designed to revive Turkey’s ambitions to join the EU. Even so, this is a country with a growing economy, strong banks and investment grade ratings from Moody’s and Fitch.

Is Turkey a safe bet?

Turkey is the sixth largest economy in Europe and 17th in the world. It is a key transit hub and a natural bridge between energy suppliers like Russia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Iran and the largest consumers of the region in mainland Europe. Moreover, Turkey is a big energy consumer market as well. According to the World Bank, the investment needed to maintain the current energy balance in Turkey’s local economy will amount to $130 billion (€101 billion) by 2030. In 2012, a total of 2.3 million tonnes of oil were produced in Turkey. In the same year, the domestic producible oil reserves were 43.2 million tonnes, while its refineries processed 22.1 million tonnes of crude oil and 21.9 million tonnes of oil products. As Turkey’s largest industrial enterprise, with a revenue of $20 billion, Tupras is currently the only petrochemical refinery in Turkey. It is seventh largest in Europe with 28.1 million tonnes of processing and 5.5 million tonnes of storage capacity distributed among four different refinery locations: Izmir, Izmit, K?r?kkale and Batman.

Australia: A wealth of opportunities?

The closure of Australia’s refineries is providing increasing opportunities for bulk liquid terminal operators as the country’s refined petroleum products imports grow. Lynda Davies reports   Australia’s rising dependence on refined petroleum product imports could be a blessing for terminal operators as well as independent oil traders, export-oriented refineries in Asia and shippers. The shift comes as the number of oil refineries in operation across the country continues to fall. The closure of Shell Australia’s Clyde refinery in Sydney at the end of September and the shutdown of Caltex’s Kurnell refinery, also in Sydney, planned for the second half of 2014, will reduce Australia’s refinery capacity to around 508,000 bpd, or by over a quarter of the early 2012 capacity level. Furthermore, most of the five remaining refineries look vulnerable to closure as their owners grapple with competitive pressure stemming from larger and newer, lower cost refineries in the wider Asia-Pacific region.

Playing the long game

Eduard Ruijs, director at First Reserve, explains what he looks for in a terminal investment partnership   Private equity firm First Reserve is perhaps best known among our readers for its involvement in the Bahamas Oil Refining oil storage terminal (BORCO). First Reserve and Vopak acquired the terminal in the Bahamas in 2008 in an 80/20 strategic joint venture and First Reserve then sold its 80% equity interest to Buckeye for $1.36 billion (€1 billion) in 2011. What is not as widely known, however, is that First Reserve has seven other active infrastructure projects including contracted midstream infrastructure assets Caliber Midstream Partners, First Carribean Power and Midstream and First ECA Midstream.

Hats off to Vopak's terminal in Laurenshaven

‘Tank 2001’ is the technical name of this beautiful hand painted tank. The people working in the Rotterdam Botlek area call this famous storage tank the ‘Top Hat box’. It was painted by three Dutch artists for Pakhoed (‘hoed’ meaning ‘hat’ in Dutch). Pakhoed and Van Ommeren were the two merger partners from which Vopak originated in 1999. This tank has a special construction. The steel roof has a 58m diameter, a height of 23.2m and is supported by columns. This type of lightweight construction was regularly used in the past as it enabled a quick building process. At that time, future maintenance costs were not really a key driver in the design process. Vopak has asked maintenance specialist Mercon to refurbish Tank 2001. As well as general maintenance, the bottom of the tank also needs to be replaced. This is quite a challenge as the columns that support the roof are fixed onto the bottom plates. They need to be carefully loosened and then jacked up 10cm so the bottom plates can be removed and new ones installed. The whole operation has to be done in a controlled manner. The tank pit will be renovated and a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) layer will be put underneath the new bottom. Furthermore all internal piping and pressure vacuum valves have to be demounted by Mercon and will be revised.

Combatting a multimillion dollar problem

Independent storage terminal operator Oiltanking operates 75 terminals in 23 countries with a total capacity of 20.3 million m3 (127.68 million barrels). Aboveground storage tanks are the lifeblood of its terminals so maintaining these assets is critical. Tank bottoms are the biggest problem area for corrosion. In the last four years, the combined bottom repair cost for Oiltanking’s terminals due to corrosion was approximately $10 million (€7.7 million). Financial loss can be significant when this type of corrosion takes place. Over a period of eight years, one of its terminals, for example, reported a loss of $1.8 million due to underside corrosion alone. Storage tank bottoms are continuously threatened by corrosive products and moisture present in the environment. Bottom corrosion occurs when there is a chemical or electrochemical reaction between the bottom plate and its environment, producing a deterioration of the bottom material and its properties.

Stand and deliver

One specialist safety provider explains the approach it takes to teach storage terminal operators good PPE practices in just 35 minutes   Who knows your terminal storage site better than you? The typical answer is nobody. This is why one safety provider, Reynolds Training Services, has developed a training pack that refreshes operators’ knowledge of core responsibilities, helping to prevent, control and mitigate hazards. Delivery of the talk, known as the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) ToolBox Talk, can be given by site members who are known to workers and competent in PPE. Like a ready-made meal, it takes 15 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to deliver.

Cyprus' crisis

As Cyprus tries to mortgage its energy future, a $300 million oil terminal ramps up construction at the southern port of Vasilikos to capitalise on the island’s location   Earlier this year Cyprus borrowed €10 billion to try and save the island from insolvency after bets its banks made on Greek bonds went south. Investments were seized, accounts were frozen and the rest of the world had to step in. The money came from the EU and International Monetary Fund, but at a backbreaking 30% interest meaning nearly €13 billion has to be returned. Developing a revitalised energy sector is crucial to that task. Energy trading is a part of the country’s economic backbone and Cyprus has provided a home to several global oil traders and marketers over the years. This is because commodities traders look to headquarter their operations in tax break havens. Other companies in the resources industry, such as mining and oil groups, pay on average an effective tax rate of 30 to 45%. Wall Street banks pay out 20% in taxes off their earnings and trading hubs like Switzerland, the Netherlands, Cyprus and Singapore offer tax brackets between 5 and 15%.

A mate for life

Vopak’s CIO Ton van Dijk speaks about the company’s implementation of a new automation system across its 84 terminal locations   This year has so far been a time of change for Emerson Process Management. In January the company announced the appointment of its new president for Europe, Roel van Doren, and has recently moved into new offices, still headquartered in Baar, Switzerland. Addressing a number of industry players during a recent visit to the new Baar HQ, van Doren said: ‘Over the years we have evolved from a group of companies to one coherent block. Our new offices symbolise how we have evolved.’ Emerson has opened six new service centres and three new education centres in the last 12 months as part of the company’s ongoing global support service initiative, which also includes expanding and upgrading many of its existing facilities. Centres have opened in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Hungary and Kazakhstan.

Get pulled in by magnet-drive pumps

This leakage-free alternative cuts emissions and reduces maintenance requirements   Due to their leakage-free sealing, centrifugal pumps with magnetic drive conquer a growing share of the centrifugal pump market. This pump design fulfils the increasing requirements to reduce emissions and, moreover, the pump requires less maintenance compared to shaft-sealed pump designs with a mechanical seal or gland packing. Magnet drive pumps are no longer just limited to mean pressures, temperatures or pumping capacities. System pressures of up to 400bar, temperatures of up to 450°C and power of up to 450kW are now manageable with magnet drive pumps. A magnet drive pump is the combination of any hydraulic pump with a magnet drive. The magnet drive adopts the function of the sealing replacing the face seal or gland packing. By renouncing a mechanical shaft seal, the magnet drive pump ensures leakage-free operation.