Martin Lyons, CEO Inter Terminals notes that 2018 marked another year of growth and development for Inter Terminals, with investment projects across the company’s existing European storage network and the addition of NuStar Europe terminals. This exciting acquisition establishes Inter Terminals as the largest independent storage operator in the United Kingdom and increases overall storage capacity by approximately 33 percent.

Tank expansion

2018 saw the completion of the largest organic development project for a decade at Inter Terminals’ Seal Sands Terminal on England’s east coast. New tanks and pipeline links have been constructed to meet contracted demand for chemical storage at the Terminal, which has developed specialist expertise in storing and handling a wide range of chemicals, many of which have distinct storage requirements.

The project at Seal Sands included the construction of two 7,000 cbm mild steel tanks with internal floating roofs and a dedicated import pipeline for receiving product into storage by sea. In addition, an existing cross-country pipeline has been redeveloped to allow the direct transfer of stored product to nearby chemical manufacturing plants. A further three mild steel tanks, with a total capacity of 13,000 cbm, have also been built at the Terminal, together with interconnecting infrastructure, to enable the export of product by sea and by road via a new tanker loading facility. The extensive design and build programme at Seal Sands was project-managed by Inter Terminals’ own engineering division, which has a wealth of experience in the design and implementation of projects to construct, upgrade and expand capacity within its own terminals and at customers’ facilities.

Working with customers

Seal Sands occupies a prime location on the River Tees and provides easy access by road and direct pipeline to the region’s major petrochemical and industrial complexes, as well as excellent sea connections via two jetties. The investment at Seal Sands demonstrates Inter Terminals’ commitment to working closely with customers to identify and develop solutions for specific product storage and handling requirements. A fascinating time-lapse video on our website captures the construction of new tanks at Seals Sands from the ground up.

Inter Terminals’ investment at Seal Sands forms part of a continuous programme of asset integrity management and development across the company’s European storage network to ensure facilities meet the needs of current and future operational capacity. Other recently completed projects include the refurbishment and strengthening of two piers at our Gulhavn Oil Terminal (GOT) in Denmark. Located in a prime position in the Danish Straits on the route in and out of the Baltic Sea, GOT offers build-bulk, break-bulk, ship-to-ship and contango logistics for the international movement of oil products within Europe and beyond.

Proactive approach

Inter Terminals is also taking a proactive approach to meeting demand for convenient and competitive low-sulphur fuel bunkering ahead of the IMO’s new global limit for sulphur content of ships’ fuel oil. From January 1, 2020 ships will have to use marine fuels with a sulphur content of no more than 0.5 percent against the current limit of 3.5 percent. The new regulations are part of continuing efforts to reduce air pollution from shipping and should have major health and environmental benefits, particularly for those living close to ports and coastal areas.

Inter Terminals has a comprehensive range of terminal locations with flexible and adaptable storage facilities capable of handling multiple products and grades, including low sulphur fuels required to comply with IMO 2020. In addition, terminal infrastructure at certain locations is interconnected with nearby refineries, offering the potential for low-sulphur marine fuels to be blended or transferred directly into dedicated storage at Inter Terminals’ facilities.

Developing market

The company’s terminal at the Swedish Port of Göteborg is particularly well placed to provide IMO 2020 compliant low-sulphur marine fuel blending and bunkering to new and existing customers. Occupying a strategic location on an active transit channel for large fuel oil flows and with a range of tank capacities and technical expertise, the terminal has a significant advantage in this developing market.

As well as having the capacity and technical skills for handling IMO 2020 compliant marine fuel at key storage locations, Inter Terminals has one of the most advanced fuel blending facilities in Europe at its Gothenburg Terminal. This expertise enables Inter Terminals to meet a wide range of special fuel requirements, including the potential to provide customised low-sulphur marine fuel solutions for customers when IMO 2020 comes into force.

According to some industry estimates the new 0.5 percent global cap for sulphur content represents approximately 75 percent of global marine fuel demand. The sulphur limit for ships operating in the existing Emission Control Areas, established by the IMO in 2015, will remain at 0.10 percent. IMO 2020 is coming and Inter Terminals has the locations, necessary skills, and infrastructure to provide convenient, cost-effective and compliant storage solutions to all shipping sectors.

2019 and beyond

In October 2018, Inter Terminals Ltd announced the acquisition of NuStar Energy, L.P’s European bulk liquid storage business (NuStar Europe). The addition of NuStar Europe is an exciting step forward for Inter Terminals and the acquisition materially increases our overall storage capacity and establishes Inter Terminals as the largest independent storage operator in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, the transaction provides an attractive entry into the Port of Amsterdam. The Port is the world’s largest gasoline blending hub and has experienced significant storage growth over the years.

NuStar Europe consists of seven coastal terminals totalling 9.1 million barrels of storage. One terminal is located in Amsterdam, Netherlands with the remaining facilities located in the United Kingdom near London, Runcorn, Eastham, Grangemouth, Clydebank and Belfast. The acquisition adds a high quality, modern asset base of 321 tanks to Inter Terminals European storage network. Serving a diversified customer base, all terminals are strategically located along key waterways with proximity to large metropolitan areas, an important competitive advantage. As we look ahead to 2019 and beyond we see strong integration potential with Inter Terminals’ existing terminals in the UK, resulting in enhanced product storage and custom blending for customers.

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27th February 2019