Multimillion investments by petrochemical giants

Thursday 21 09 2017

The Total refinery and its logistics partner SEA-Invest are together investing 100 million in a big capacity expansion in the port of Antwerp. The chemical giant Evonik for its part has selected the port as the ideal location to boost the market growth of pyrogenic silica. Meanwhile ATPC has just broken the first ground for an LNG/ethane tank farm. Together, the various investments will help to assure the long-term presence of these big chemical and petrochemical operators in Antwerp.

More than one million cubic metres of storage capacity

Totseanergy, the new joint venture by the Total oil company (through its trading arm Totsa) and the SEA-Invest group (through its tank storage division SEA-Tank) is to invest 100 million euros in the new Totseanergy Terminal at the head of the Hansa dock and the 6th Harbour dock.

The investment comprises eight new tanks with a capacity of 20,000 m³ each, three additional loading and unloading bays and a pipeline between the terminal and the Total refinery. Antwerp Port Authority has undertaken to increase the depth alongside quay to 15.5 m.

Since 2010 SEA-Tank has already invested 250 million euros in construction of a tank storage farm of 860,000 m³ for Total and its trading division Totsa Total Oil. This additional investment will give Total a combined capacity of more than 100 million m³ in the course of 2019.

Long-term presence in Antwerp

Total has been operating in the port of Antwerp since 1951. In more recent years together with SEA-Invest it has played a significant role in doubling the volume of liquid bulk handled by the port. The current investment will give the refinery greater flexibility and enable it to operate more efficiently. The new tanks will take up around a quarter of the space available in the terminal, leaving plenty of room for further expansion.

This choice by Total and SEA-Invest once more confirms the strategic position of Antwerp as a petrochemical hotspot, demonstrating the strong belief by industrial and logistics operators in the value of having a long-term presence in the port.

Base for worldwide deliveries of specialty chemicals

Evonik for its part has announced that it is to invest tens of millions of euros in expanding its production capacity for special silica. The chemical concern has chosen its Antwerp site for the expansion "because of its central location and the modern port facilities," according to spokesman Danny Erreweyaert. With this investment Evonik is cementing its position as the world's largest supplier of silica, used as an ingredient in paints and lacquers, modern adhesive systems, transparent silicones and fire-resistant, high-grade insulation materials.

"With the expansion of our capacity in Antwerp we seek to drive the market growth for pyrogenic silica in Europe and other important export markets," says Johannes Ohmer, member of the management committee of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH.

With 10 production units and more than 1,000 employees Evonik Antwerp is one of the largest Evonik sites in the world.

New gas tanks for LPG and ethane

Earlier this month ATPC (Antwerp Terminal and Processing Company) broke the first ground for construction of an LPG/ethane tank storage farm of 30,000 m³. The tanks are specially designed for storing ethane, propane, butane and derived products.

The construction of this new facility will make ATPC a significant player in the ARA (Antwerp-Rotterdam-Amsterdam) storage market for LPG and ethane. Furthermore, ATPC is able to handle VLGCs (Very Large Gas Carriers), at its terminal in the port of Antwerp. ATPC expects to have the full capacity in operation by the middle of 2018.