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NEWS: Vopak celebrates 35 years in Singapore – driving new frontiers for a sustainable future

25 September 2018, 00:00 - Singapore

- Invests in expansion and upgrading plans to meet Singapore's ambition as a leading bunker port and petrochemical hub 

- Unveils digital transformation & innovation initiatives

The world’s leading independent tank storage company Vopak is celebrating 35 years of progress in Singapore. From one terminal with just about 30 tanks in 1983 to five terminals with nearly 500 tanks today, Vopak Terminals Singapore has grown into a leading tank storage services provider at a major hub location with over 350 professionals, storing vital products from oil, chemicals to gases through our network of terminals with care. 

“With the support of our joint venture partner, PSA Singapore, Vopak has made huge growth strides in Singapore since developing the nation’s first independent oil storage terminal to serve the emerging local oil trading business in the early eighties. Thirty-five years on, we are constantly pushing boundaries as the leader in our industry. This anniversary marks a significant milestone in our partnership with Singapore. The country has always been a key hub for Vopak and will continue to be a core part of our company strategy to serve the growing needs of our customers locally and in the region,” said Mr Dick Richelle, Division President, Asia & Middle East. 

Investing for the future 

The business environment in which Vopak operates is continuously changing and becoming more complex. For example, challenging oil markets, implementation of a 0.50% sulphur cap on bunker fuels by the International Marine Organization (IMO) and the changing dynamics of the energy transition. In anticipation of these changes, Vopak has invested in a number of initiatives in recent years to strengthen Vopak and Singapore’s long term competitive position. These include: 

Expansion of Sebarok terminal with 67,000 cbm of storage to cater for handling of marine gasoil, strengthening its position as the bunker hub of choice with flexibility of handling multiple fuels 

In line with MPA’s directive to improve port efficiency, Vopak introduced a new efficient and safe concurrent bunkering service at its Sebarok terminal in Singapore. With this innovative service, vessels calling at Vopak’s Sebarok terminal can receive bunkers from bunker barges simultaneously while loading or discharging at the Vopak terminal.

A major service improvement project at Penjuru terminal to service the growing chemical market

A liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) import and distribution facility at Banyan terminal, Southeast Asia’s first such facility, to serve the petrochemical industry. Gearing towards becoming a strategic gas center in the future, the LPG facility will also enhance the competitiveness of Singapore’s energy and chemical industry

Upgrading of existing infrastructure and leveraging automation at various terminals to boost throughput capability and, more efficiently handle and blend different types of fuels

Innovating for the next 400 years

“With support from Singapore Economic Development Board and Vopak's Global Innovation team, we have embarked on a digital transformation journey to achieve our Industry 4.0 ambitions. This means leveraging technology such as Industry Internet-of-Things, big data analytics, mobile devices and robotics to create a safer, sustainable and more productive workplace, thus creating value for our customers and driving Singapore’s competitiveness to serve the industry”, said Mr Tan Soo Koong, Managing Director of Vopak Terminals Singapore. 

“The commitment of Vopak to invest and reinvent itself over the last 35 years is commendable. Vopak’s decision to use Singapore as a pilot location for its various digital initiatives is a strong testament to our innovation capabilities and adaptable workforce. Singapore is glad to be part of Vopak’s digital transformation journey, and we look forward to many years of fruitful partnership with Vopak,” said Mr Damian Chan, Executive Director, Energy & Chemicals.

At its Sakra and Banyan terminals on Jurong Island for example, Vopak is piloting the use of innovative sensors to monitor the health of the product pumps. The data which is collected by those sensors is transmitted wirelessly to a cloud platform of the supplier where smart algorithms predict potential equipment failures well ahead of time. This allows the terminal to perform predictive maintenance on its assets, avoiding unexpected downtime and impact on customers. 

Vopak is also the industry’s first to perform an in-service tank floor inspection using an intrinsically safe robot. Traditionally, such inspections require the tank to be emptied, cleaned and ventilated prior to the actual inspection by human inspectors. This requires people to enter confined spaces and potential exposure to hazardous conditions. Cleaning and preparing the tank for entry also generates waste and vapour emissions. The use of remotely operated vehicles while the tank remains in service eliminates these needs, boosting our safety and sustainability ambitions. “Less downtime of our assets also means we can support our customers better to fulfill their business goals,” added Mr Tan

Celebrating Vopak people 

Vopak currently employs over 350 employees in Singapore. On an average, employees have stayed for about 10 years and some as long as over 30 years with the organisation. “Our people are at the heart of our business. We take pride in our people-oriented culture and developing our talents as they grow with the company,” said Mr Tan. 

As part of its anniversary celebration this year, Vopak employees will lead a community project Vopak WeConnect Young Achievers to help over 100 youths and primary school students in Singapore broaden their career perspectives through workshops and defray the cost of new school term necessities with stationary vouchers.

Growing from strength to strength 

“For 35 years, we have been storing vital products ranging from oil, chemicals to gases safely for our customers and we will continue to do so. Through the years, we have grown from strength, from our facilities in Sebarok, Penjuru and Jurong Island to establishing our regional operations here in Singapore. As pioneers in our industry, we are honoured to have been a part of the economic development of Singapore and look forward to continue working with great partners including PSA, EDB, JTC Corporation and MPA* to drive new frontiers, progressing alongside Singapore towards a sustainable future.” 

*MPA Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore

**For more details on Vopak Pump Monitoring with sensor

Notes to Editors

Vopak’s 35 years in Singapore 

  • In 1983, with support from the Singapore government and our joint venture partner the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA), and support of founding partner DBS Bank we established our first independent oil storage terminal on Sebarok island to serve local oil trading businesses. The terminal had an initial capacity of 500,000 cubic meters, but as the oil trading business in Singapore developed over the years, its capacity increased to 1.26 million cubic meters.
  • In line with the local government’s vision to become a regional chemical hub, Vopak established its first industrial terminal on Jurong Island (by the name of Sakra) in 1994, serving the storage needs & pipeline connectivity for a number of chemical manufacturing plants in the vicinity. This tank terminal was built to serve multiple chemical customers, and expanded its capacity as the number of plants in the area increased. Today Sakra has a capacity of 288,000 cubic meters dedicated purely to chemical storage. 
  • In 2006, Vopak established its Banyan terminal, a unique combination of oil, chemical and gases storage. With a storage capacity of more than 1.4 million cubic meters, the Banyan terminal utilizes an integrated business model spanning bulk breaking, industrial and distribution.
  • In 2010, Vopak added butadiene storage capacity to the Banyan terminal, making it the first independent storage facility for butadiene in the region. 
  • In 2013, Vopak Terminals Singapore was one of the first corporate partners for the ‘Adopt-a-Precinct programmes in Taman Jurong to help low-income families in local community. Through the years, Vopak has assisted the elderly, youths and needy families through initiatives including home improvement programmes, stationery vouchers, food hampers, excursions and career enrichment workshops. 
  • In 2014, ammonia storage was added to the Banyan terminal to serve our customers on Jurong Island. In the same year, JTC tendered the operatorship of the Jurong Rock Caverns, Singapore’s first underground petroleum and petrochemical storage facility.  Together with our joint venture partner Jurong Consultants, Vopak won the tender and operates the Jurong Rock Caverns as a consortium. 
  • In 2015, in celebration of Singapore’s 50th anniversary (SG50), Vopak commissioned on its heritage and partnership with Singapore.
  • In 2016, Vopak, under a partnership entity Vopak Gas Terminal LLP, launched the independent liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage facility at Banyan terminal, to meet the rising global demand for LPG. With an initial storage capacity of 80,000 cubic meters, it is the first independent LPG storage facility in the Southeast region, greatly enhancing the competitiveness of the chemical industries in Singapore. In the same year, Vopak celebrated its 400th anniversary worldwide. 
  • In 2017, in line with MPA’s directive to improve port efficiency, Vopak introduced a new efficient and safe concurrent bunkering service at its Sebarok terminal in Singapore. With this innovative service, vessels calling at Vopak’s Sebarok terminal can receive bunkers from bunker barges simultaneously while loading or discharging at the Vopak terminal. 
  • In 2018, Vopak participated in the MPA/NUS Enterprise's PIER 71 Smart Port Challenge, offering local start-ups a chance to partner with maritime corporates.
  • Our mission is to connect the supply of and demand for the vital products by providing safe, efficient and clean storage and handling services for our customers. As we celebrate our 35th anniversary, we strive to fulfil our mission with care and be the partner of choice for all our stakeholders, from customers, business partners and investors, to governments, local communities, and society at large.

Profile Royal Vopak

Royal Vopak is the world's leading independent tank storage company. Vopak operates a global network of terminals located at strategic locations along major trade routes. With a 400-year history and a strong focus on safety and sustainability, Vopak ensures efficient, safe and clean storage and handling of bulk liquid products and gases for its customers. By doing so, Vopak enables the delivery of products that are vital to our economy and daily lives, ranging from oil, chemicals, gases and LNG to biofuels and vegoils. Vopak is listed on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange and is headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Including joint ventures and associates, Vopak employs an international workforce of over 5,700 people. As of 17 August 2018, Vopak operates 66 terminals in 25 countries with a combined storage capacity of 36 million cbm, with another 3.3 million cbm under development. 

Profile Vopak Terminals Singapore

Vopak Terminals Singapore is a joint venture between Royal Vopak (69.5%) and the Port of Singapore Authority Corporation (30.5%). With 35 years of heritage locally, Vopak Terminals Singapore is experienced and dedicated in providing storage, handling and transshipment solutions for oil, gas and chemical industries. It operates five terminals with a combined storage capacity of more than 3 million cbm. 

Media contact 

Alexis Oh
Communications Manager, Asia & Middle East 
Telephone: +65  6371 0551