Boosting capacity, reducing costs and meeting environmental standards are key priorities for operators in 2017 as the oil price slowly rebounds and demand for more specialist storage grows.
A survey of 171 top decision-makers in the bulk liquid storage sector revealed that 49% of participants see reducing cost as their top priority followed by increasing efficiency, at 44% and increasing profitability, at 35%.
The survey by the organisers of StocExpo Europe shows that operators are very mindful of ever-stringent environmental standards as well as boosting capacity in the face of growing demand.
The landmark decision by the International Maritime Organisation last year to reduce the content of sulphur fuels by 2020 is the latest environmental regulation that will impact the industry.
Many operators now have a greater focus on more environmentally sustainable operations in the face of more exacting customer requirements, and this is reflected in the fact that 27% see environmental standards as a top priority going forward. This is particularly the case in Europe, with 40% of respondents saying it is a key issue for operators.
However, only 14% of respondents in the Middle East and 11% in Asia see it as one of their top three priorities.
In North America, 62% of respondents see environmental demands as a key storage issue.
The volatile oil price, which ended 2016 at above $50 per barrel despite dropping to historic lows at the beginning of the year, remains a key issue that impacts the sector in all key storage regions.
A total of 46% said that the oil price is a crucial issue that impacts the success of the industry.
Significant investment cuts, which have led to a slowdown in new upstream projects, have also impacted the industry, with 39% saying the lack of investment opportunities is also a key concern.
According to survey participants, more than one in four say that investment has been affected the most by the fluctuating oil price. However, 16% say that cash flow has been impacted the most while 13% say that growth in general has been the biggest casualty.
However, there are some interesting regional variations. More than one in five respondents in the Middle East say that oil prices have had the greatest impact on environmental advances while one in five respondents in Africa say fluctuating oil prices have had the biggest impact on job security.
Respondents in Asia and the Middle East also see the mismatch between supply and demand as a crucial factor, with 56% in Asia saying it is a key concern and 40% in the Middle East. The implementation of the ‘Algiers Accord’ – an agreement by OPEC to limit crude oil production in 2017 is direct action to address this issue. It represents the first production cap that OPEC has imposed since 2008.
Nick Powell, StocExpo & Tank Storage Portfolio Event Director, comments: “The results of this survey highlight some very interesting themes that are affecting the industry. It is not at all surprising that the fluctuating oil price is a key concern for the sector, however there is the hope that oil prices will continue to rise in the future.
“It is encouraging to see how important environmental standards are for those working in tank storage, particularly given the emergence of new legislation around this, and it is something that all our events strongly focus on.
“This research not only highlights how valuable our conference programme at StocExpo Europe is in unpacking these key themes but also the fact that the industry craves continuous innovations to improve efficiency and profitability.”
Many of the issues highlighted by the research are addressed by the StocExpo Europe 2017 conference, which returns to the Ahoy Rotterdam on 28-30 March. For instance, in terms of cost savings and efficiency, one of the event’s seven expert panel sessions will feature Abel Noordanus, Commercial Manager at Odfjell, Martijn Notten, CEO of Vesta Terminals, Laurent Hatzopoulos, Manager of Third Party Storage at Shell Trading, and Walter Wattenberg, CEO of LBC Tank Terminals. The panel debate will cover issues affecting terminal costs, efficiency, new investments and ways to increase throughput.
Similarly, for the 39% of European tank storage professionals who feel a lack of investment opportunities is inhibiting their growth, the panel discussion looking at growth plans and opportunities in the Mediterranean will resonate. This features Pablo Fernandez Canga, Commercial Director at Decal Spain, Luis Sala, Managing Director at Tepsa in Spain and Effie Miluten, Deputy General Manager of Commerce at EAPC in Israel. While those looking for opportunities further afield, the conference will also feature a further discussion on the challenges and rewards to be had by helping China build up its national reserves and grow its independent storage market.
The StocExpo Europe research also suggests that buyers in the tank storage industry are anticipating considerable innovation from across the supply chain; 49% feel there are major innovations taking place in automation and instrumentation, 30% in metering and measuring, and 26% in vapour recovery, while 25% say loading equipment is also an area where many new products are emerging. All this innovation will be on show at StocExpo Europe’s exhibition which will feature over 200 suppliers from across the globe, spanning the entire supply chain.
For more information on visiting the exhibition, booking as a delegate for the conference or becoming a media partner, please call +44 (0)20 8843 8800 or visit the event website.
StocExpo Europe 2017
28-30 March 2017
StocExpo Middle East Africa 2017
26 & 27 April 2017
Dubai World Trade Centre
Tank Storage Asia 2017
27 & 28 September 2017
Marina Bay Sands
Tank Storage Germany 2017
29 & 30 November 2017
StocExpo China 2017
13 & 14 December 2017
Shanghai Exhibition Centre
Information about Artexis Easyfairs
Artexis Easyfairs enables communities to “visit the future” at must-attend events that anticipate their needs and present solutions in the ideal format.
Through Easyfairs, the Group currently organises more than 200 events in 19 countries (Algeria, Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, Emirates, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States).
In the United Kingdom, these events include Packaging Innovations (Birmingham & London), Empack, Label&Print, Advanced Engineering, CCR Expo and Lab Innovations. Events organised by the UK & Global division internationally include: StocExpo and the Tank Storage portfolio of events (Rotterdam, Antwerp, Dubai, Singapore, Hamburg and Shanghai) and the publication, Tank Storage Magazine; ADF (Aerosol & Dispensing Forum) and PCD (Packaging of Perfumery, Cosmetics & Design) in Paris and New York, through Easyfairs Oriex; and Maghreb Pharma, Dentex and Medex in Algiers, through Easyfairs Northeral.
And through Artexis, the Group manages 11 events venues in the Benelux and Nordic regions (Ghent, Antwerp, 2 venues in Namur, Mechelen-Brussels North, Mons, Hardenberg, Gorinchem, Venray, Stockholm and Malmö). The Group employs more than 700 people and expects to generate revenues in excess of €169 million for its financial year 2016-2017.
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