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Vopak to spend 40m euros to be prepared for IMO sulphur cap

DUTCH oil and chemical storage company Vopak said it is investing 40 million euros (S$64 million) globally to cater for the flexibility and capacity to meet the refueling needs of marine vessels when the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) global sulphur cap comes into force.

The IMO cap that will kick in by 2020 will restrict sulphur content in marine fuel to 0.5 per cent.

Vopak's planned investment will cover the expansion of its Seborak terminal on Singapore's Seborak Island, which services vessels passing through maritime waters to the east of Singapore.

In February, the company said that it will expand its Sebarok terminal by another 67,000 cubic metres to cater for storage and handling of marine gas oil (MGO), one fuel option compliant with the IMO 2020 sulphur cap.

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The tank storage provider has also introduced a concurrent bunkering service, which allows for vessels to refuel while loading or discharging products at the Seborak terminal.

It is separately investing 100 million euros on digitalising and automating operations worldwide, with a significant part of this going towards piloting initiatives at its terminals in Singapore.

Vopak has invested over S$1.8 billion in Singapore since it first set foot on the island nation 35 years ago. From one terminal and 30 tanks in 1983, its operations here have expanded to five terminals and 500 tanks.