Vopak announces Vlaardingen and Qinzhou investments in 2020 results

Independent Dutch terminal operator Vopak is to build new tanks for waste-based feedstocks for biofuel in Vlaardingen in the Netherlands, and will build a new jetty at its terminal in Qinzhou, China.

Vopak will build 16 new tanks with a combined capacity of 64,000 m3 at Vopak Terminal Vlaardingen in Rotterdam to store waste materials such as used cooking oil and tallow, for the production of biofuels including biodiesel and bio jet fuel. The investment will help to meet growing demand for energy from renewable resources, driven in the Europe in part by the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive II. The terminal already has experience in storing these materials and is well-connected by vessels, barges, trucks and trains.

‘This project fits well within Vopak’s ambition to support our customers and society by developing and investing in infrastructure solutions for facilitating more sustainable energies and feedstocks. We are looking forward to continuing to invest in the Port of Rotterdam,’ says Patrick van der Voort, Vopak’s division president Europe & Africa.

In Qinzhou in southwest China, the new jetty will be exclusively used for gas products including propane, butane, ethylene and propylene, and will allow Vopak to expand its industrial terminals services offering at the terminal. The company expects to complete the jetty in the second half of 2022.

Vopak made the investment announcements as part of its Q4 2020 full year 2020 results. The group’s performance was generally positive. The Q4 EBITDA of €189 million was lower than Q3 and in Q4 2019, however, this was due to a one-off negative accounting result of €20 million on the Vopak share of the Pt2SB terminal in Malaysia, a joint venture with PETRONAS, Dialog Group and the state of Johor.

Vopak reported a full year EBITDA of €792 million, an increase of €20 million on 2019, excluding divestments, although including divestments, the 2019 figure was €829.8 million, so there was an overall drop. In 2021, however, Vopak says that new contributions of €30-50 million from growth projects in 2020 and 2021 will replace EBITDA from the divested terminals. It plans to allocation €300-350 million for growth investments in 2021, including existing committed projects, new business development and pre-FID feasibility studies in new energies including hydrogen.

Vopak terminals continue to perform well, with a proportional occupancy rate of 90%, up from 84% in 2019, and and a consolidated occupancy rate for subsidiaries of 88%, up from 84% in 2019.

‘In 2020, we delivered EBITDA growth (post-divestments) in a more volatile business environment. We have outperformed on costs to defend EBITDA and delivered on growth projects, despite construction delays of some projects due to Covid-19 restrictions. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the industries we serve. We have seen unprecedented changes in supply and demand of gas, chemicals and oil and subsequent response of our customers to their portfolios and supply chains. We have experienced an acceleration in the energy transition. We have seen the high dependency on digital infrastructure. Our strategy is aligned with these trends and strategy delivery progressed in 2020,’ CEO Eelco Hoekstra says.

He adds: ‘We are determined to bolster our leading position in our industry both in service and sustainability towards customers and society. We continue to seek opportunities to reduce our environmental footprint and implement our sustainability roadmap towards our ambition to be climate neutral by 2050.’

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