Interview: Sami Habbab, CEO Delta Rubis

5.Sami HabbabToday Tank World talks to Sami Habbab, the CEO of Delta Rubis, the leading independent liquid fuels storage player in the Mediterranean region and an expert speaker at Tank World Expo. Delta Group entered the oil industry in 1984 as Delta Petrol with its floating storage facility in Iskenderun. Subsequently, the company built and operated its first bulk liquid storage terminal in Ceyhan, Turkey and then built another one in Poti, Georgia to service the Caspian oil exports. In 2007, the capacity of the Ceyhan Oil Storage Terminal was doubled and reached 650,000 cbm. In January 2012, Rubis Terminal, amongst the top 10 largest independent liquid storage operators in the world, partnered with Delta Petrol to form Delta Rubis.

Luke Upton (LU): Thanks for the time today Sami, it has now been two years since Delta Petrol partnered with Rubis Terminal to become Delta Rubis. What have you learnt in this time?

Sami Habbab (SH): It’s been a great two years as together we’ve been able to grow and develop quickly.  As Delta Rubis, we have moved forward with determined steps and with a new strategic vision and also been able to seek out new expansion opportunities in Turkey, Black Sea, the Mediterranean and Middle East regions in not only in liquid fuel storage, but also in side sectors such as LPG, liquid chemicals, biofuels. The progressive sophistication of oil products and increased volatility in the global oil markets requires flexible value added and diverse logistics services in global markets which Delta Rubis is now able to provide.

LU: One of the major projects you are working on is the facility at Ceyhan, can you update us on that?

SH: Yes of course, we have been steadily developing our Ceyhan Terminal to cater for multi-product servicing with high blending capability and bunker barge loading berthing station. Its location is highly strategic due to its proximity to the world’s second largest proven oil reserves in Iraq, and because it is a key part of an increasingly important hub of petroleum activity at the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline (ITP) terminus and the terminus of the Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline.

We are just about to complete our 2.3km jetty which will hold 6 vessels simultaneously with maximum acceptance size of 200,000 DWT and we’ve already built 11 new storage tanks to provide new service offering for bunker and local market import demand, then we move onto completing the superstructure of the jetty. Please see the video below for an example of our development and investment.

The Ceyhan Terminal unites the most recent developments in the storage technology and Delta Rubis’s technical experience of 25 years offers service substructures such as private tanker heating system, commodity exchange, blending, additive injection, at site inspection and quick loading-unloading, services; truck loading gantry system and such services creating added value improves efficiency, profitability and competitiveness of the customer. We are on track to for a completion date of early 2015. In addition we are ensuring that the facility offers the option of future expansion to match continued growth.

LU: What are some of the challenges that the industry faces at the moment?

SH: I think the principle one is that although demand remains steady but backwardated market structure provides the challenge. Prices and financing costs are higher, as are the costs of carry compared to the past and so there are still economic costs still have to be managed effectively.

LU: Thanks and just on the reverse, what are the opportunities for Delta Rubis in the coming year?

SH: We are continuing to grow and develop Ceyhan as a truly worldwide fuels hub which further maintains our competitive leadership position. By this time near year, Ceyhan will be almost close to full completion and all looking forward to seeing the fruits of our investment to service long haul vessels with more diversified business activity. In addition we will, as always, be supporting our growing targets with constant and sustainable development plans and continue to adopt as a main pillar of our success, an articulate and successful implementation of internationally accepted high service offering focusing on Quality and HSE (health, safety, environment).

It is an exciting year ahead and we hope to continue our efforts and activities to make us stronger than ever.

Sami Habbab, CEO Delta Rubis, is an expert speaker at Tank World Expo, 14-15 April 2014 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Join over 1000 attendees, 100 expert speakers and 80 exhibitors and book your place today. For more on Delta Rubis and their work in the industry click here.

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