Top 5: Advantages of Tank Storage Automation.

Cyprus Storage courtesy_joe_gough

Vitol Tank Terminals International (VTTI) facility in Cyprus.

As the oil tank storage industry becomes increasingly competitive and complex it seeks more intelligent and efficient solutions to fuel growth. Perhaps the most important area of development is the growth of automation. Indeed, increasing numbers of operators are using tank storage automation as a key selling point in pitching for new business. Tank storage farm automation is now easier, quicker and less costly than ever before and the industry now boasts a growing number of examples where an investment in automation has given a significant return on investment. There are of course various levels of storage automation from a fully integrated, computerised facility through to a more basic motor-operated system. But without a doubt the implementation of terminal automation technology is one of the most cost effective ways in which to grow your business. Today Tank World examines the top 5 advantages of tank storage automation…

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PROFILE: Captain Ashraf Mabrouk and Khalifa Port.

HavinKhalifa Portg just celebrated the anniversary of its first year of commercial operation, today we focus on the port and talk to Captain Ashraf Mabrouk, Khalifa Port Harbour Master about his experiences and the development of the facility.

Khalifa Port, commenced commercial operations on September 1st 2012 and was officially inaugurated on 12 December 2012 by the UAE’s President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayhan and is the first semi-automated container terminal in the region. The port is equipped with latest technology and equipment in the industry, including six super post panamax ship to shore cranes which can reach across 22 container stacks on a ship, and 30 automated stacking cranes and 20 straddle carriers.

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The World’s Most Remote Tank Farm: McMurdo Station, Ross Island, Antarctica

McMurdo Tank Farm

McMurdo Tank Farm (Courtesy of WikiCommons)

We are pretty confident here at Tank World that the tank farm at McMurdo Station on Ross Island in Antarctica is the world’s most remote, with the nearest city being Christchurch in New Zealand 2,500 miles to the north. McMurdo acts as the hub for the US Antarctic Program and opened in 1958. The station supports research at Ross Island and in the Ross Sea region, but it is equally significant as the staging point for personnel, equipment and the all important AN8 aviation fuel, JP5 diesel and mogas  to be ferried to other places in the South Pole by plane or overland.

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NEWS: Grangemouth closure set to increase UK reliance on oil imports; threaten North Sea supplies.

GrangemouthThe announcement by owners Ineos that the giant petrochemical Grangemouth plant in central Scotland is to close has been met with anger, disappointment and concern from across the UK. Over 800 employees plus sub-contractors are set to lose their jobs and the collapse of the plant is a major blow to the UK’s oil refining capability. The number of refineries in the UK has been falling for decades and there are currently just seven – Coryton in Essex was the most recent to close after its owner Petroplus, filed for bankruptcy in 2012.

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NEWS: Major Brightoil storage development announced for Ningbo-Zhoushan Port in China; total investment set to reach US$1 billion.

Oil Tank Storage Foudndation (Brightoil)

Oil storage tank foundations being built by Brightoil at Waidiao Island

Brightoil Petroleum, one of the largest marine bunkering service providers in China, has announced the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has granted them approval to construct oil storage and terminal facilities at Ningbo-Zhoushan Port in the Laotangshan Port Zone at Waidiao Island with capacities of more than 10,000 DWT.  Waidiao Island is emerging as a major petrochemical and trading hub for East China and is strategically located to support the import and regional trade for the greater Yangtze River Delta region. Commercial operation of the new facility is projected to commence around the first half of 2015 upon completion of construction.

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INDUSTRY FOCUS: The next scramble for Africa? Oil tank storage’s growing new boom market.

Although tank storage has existeAfrica_(orthographic_projection).svgd in Africa for decades, increased stability, a growing demand, booming populations and size-able discoveries of hydrocarbons have fueled its extensive recent growth. In fact a recent report from Deloitte (The Deloitte Guide to oil and gas in East Africa, 2013) stated that “more hydrocarbons have been discovered in East Africa in the last 2 years than anywhere else in the world.” The announcement this week that Oiltanking have signed a joint venture with Mining, Oil and Gas Services (MOGS) to construct a commercial crude oil storage and blending terminal in South Africa is the latest development in the ongoing competition for market share in this booming region. In an emerging market where profit margins are still relatively small, the bulk supplies offered at terminals hold the key to greater profitability. Extra storage capacity is critical to oil marketers in the region and the building of new terminals and storage facilities across the region highlight this.

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