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EMERGING MARKETS Terminal invesTmenT focus

Panama bunker storage capacity set to expand from 7.2m barrels to 10.6m barrels in 2012

The construction of Melones Oil Terminal, a $80m Panamanian venture with the latest-spec tank farm being built on a 38,700 sq m island located 15 km from the Panama Canal Pacific entrance, with berthing facilities for up to 4 barges to be loaded simultaneously, should be operating by mid-2012, says Juan David Morgan Jr, director of Melones Oil Terminal. “The tank storage farm consists of 16

tanks with total storage capacity of 2.1m barrels, designed according to API 650 and NFPA 30,” explains Morgan Jr. “So far we have been in contact with several bunker suppliers that already are or want to come into the market and several international traders. “I am very optimistic that we will

provide the fastest and more efficient service because our installations will pump faster than any other terminal [in Panama], and because vessels won’t have to share piers or wait to load/unload their products,” he explains. “I firmly believe at least for the Pacific

side, that this new tank [farm] will create new business and will make the bunkering market in Panama more efficient,” comments Galavis, a consultant to the project. On the Atlantic entrance of the

Panama Canal, the $60m Teffler Tanks, a joint venture between Interoceanic Supply Services (ISS) and local investors, located next to Cristobal port’s berth 16, is set to

begin construction in the next months. Teffler Tanks was originally part of a

$100m expansion plan announced by Chemoil five years ago and later abandoned following a restructuring of the company. Telfer Tanks will have a capacity of

1.2m barrels with three 200,000 barrel tanks, two 100,000 barrel tanks, five 50,000 barrel tanks, five 25,000 barrel tanks and one of 5,000 barrel to provide the customer with more storage flexibility, explains its president Hugo Torrijos Dajer. The facility will include a 400 m -14 m draught dedicated pier with four positions able to serve post-panamax vessels, truck loading racks for local market and the latest technology to blend products according to world safety

environmental guidelines. The independent provider Oiltanking

acquired in 2010 Colon Oil and Colon Port Terminal with 300,000 barrels of tank storage capacity with an exclusive 260 m pier for panamax vessels. It is building additional 450,000 barrels of storage to serve truck-loading facilities, which will become operational in 2012. Aegean Marine Petroleum Network

took possession of a 20-year concession in August this year to administer the former installations of government- owned APSA comprising 65 tanks and supply bunkers on both entrances of the Panama Canal with total storage capacity of 2.5m barrels. According to Panamanian authorities,

Aegean committed itself to invest $7m to repair and upgrade the 50-year old tank farm and pipelines. The company brought two barges to move their own supplies. “Aegean will have a hard time though competing with the infrastructure they will be operating,” says an industry source.

Price competition Continued from page 15

One attraction of taking bunkers in

Panama is that vessels transiting the waterway have an average 8-10-hour- waiting time before coming into the channel and the locks during which time they can bunker at either entrances of the canal. However, with an expanded canal, it is likely that vessels may wait less raising the question of whether Panama bunker trade could lose one of its major assets. Digeronimo believes Panama’s location will continue to draw shipowners to take

increase by at least 50%. “We must face the challenge and start looking at alternative providers to compete and become cheaper than Houston.” The key to success, says Digeronimo is to have more efficient terminals and barges. VT Ships entered the market in

bunkers provided that “we are very competitive in prices”. He says that with new investments in place it was forecast that volumes would

October 2009 and operates two barges for BP on long term time charters. “These past two years showed a growth of 126% and we expect to continue growing at the same speed and be able to bring another one or two barges [to supply the market],” says Digeronimo, who estimates VT Ships’ operations between 15%-16% of Panama’s bunker market.

Seatrade Bunkering Report 2011


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