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Storage firm Vopak to focus on chemicals after oil terminal slowdown
[GDANSK] Vopak will develop a new joint venture terminal in southwest China and expand its terminals in Belgium and Mexico to focus on chemicals due to oil terminals are becoming less profitable, the Dutch industrial storage company said on Monday.
The company said it will develop a facility to provide storage and handling for chemical manufacturing plants in the Qinzhou Chemical Park in southwest China as poor oil terminal performance and new marine fuel regulations hurt its core profit.
The company reported third-quarter results with earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) slightly below consensus at 407 million euros (S$616 million), saying its oil hub terminals in Europe and Singapore partially offset good performance from new assets.
Vopak said the slight drop in its end-of-quarter occupancy rate, which came in at 84 per cent, also reflects the market conditions at oil hub terminals in addition to conversion activities related to the International Maritime Organization's new marine fuel regulation (IMO 2020).
Apart from oil terminals, other segments of Vopak's business remained solid, the company said.
Vopak added it will continue to invest in the growth of its global terminal portfolio over the coming years with growth investment that could be in the range of 300 million euros to 500 million euros in 2020.
The new industrial terminal in China, in which Vopak will hold a share of 51 per cent after developing it together with Shanghai Huayi Group and Guangxi Qinzhou Linhai Industrial, will have an initial capacity of 290,000 cubic metres and is expected to be commissioned in mid-2021, the company said.
Vopak added that it would expand its Linkerover terminal in the Belgian port of Antwerp with 30,000 cubic metres, and its Altamira terminal in Mexico with 40,000 cubic metres.