Port Bureau Updates-February

Kirby Corporation Signs Agreement to Purchase the Inland Tank Barge Fleet of Savage Inland Marine

Kirby Corporation (Kirby) announced at the end of January the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire the inland tank barge fleet of Savage Inland Marine (Savage) for approximately $278 million in cash and the assumption of leases.

Savage’s tank barge fleet consists of 90 inland tank barges with approximately 2.5 million barrels of capacity and 46 inland towboats. Savage primarily moves petrochemicals, refined products, and crude oil on the Mississippi River, its tributaries, and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Savage also operates a significant ship bunkering business as well as barge fleeting services along the Gulf Coast. The closing of the acquisition is expected to occur late in the first quarter of 2020 and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The purchase will be financed through additional borrowings.

David Grzebinski, Kirby’s president and chief executive officer, commented, “The purchase of Savage’s inland tank barge and towboat fleet represents an excellent strategic addition to Kirby’s inland marine fleet with young, well-maintained vessels. In the last few years, Savage has built a diverse and well-respected inland marine transportation business with a strong presence in towing, bunkering, and fleeting along the Gulf Coast. These operations complement Kirby’s inland business very well and will enable us to better service our customer’s towing and fleeting needs. Further, Savage’s ship bunkering business in New Orleans is an ideal expansion of Kirby’s existing bunkering operations in Texas and Florida, and gives Kirby the ability to service bunker customers in this important Gulf Coast port.”


Vopak Completes Divestment of Terminal in Algeciras

Royal Vopak (Vopak) completed a divestment of its oil terminal in Algeciras to First State Investments at the end of January. This divestment is the finalization of the sale of three terminals (Amsterdam, Hamburg and Algeciras) to First State Investments as previously announced.

Vopak published its 2019 full-year results in mid-February, including the financial results of the divestment which are in line with previous announcements made in 2019.

Royal Vopak is the world’s leading independent tank storage company. Vopak is determined to develop key infrastructure solutions for the world’s changing energy systems, while simultaneously investing in digitalization and innovation.


Shell Backs Europe’s Biggest Battery in Support of Renewable Power

Shell Energy Europe Limited (SEEL) has agreed to a multi-year power off take deal that enables the installation of Europe’s biggest battery. The 100-megawatt (MW) Minety power storage project in England, is backed by China Huaneng Group and Chinese sovereign wealth fund CNIC, is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. The two 50-MW batteries will enable SEEL and Shell subsidiary Limejump to optimize the use of renewable power in the area.

“Projects like this will be vital for balancing the UK’s electricity demand and supply as wind and solar power play bigger roles in powering our lives,” David Wells, Vice President of SEEL, said.

Batteries are expected to play a key part in the transition to a low-carbon energy system by absorbing excess energy when supply exceeds demand in some areas, then supplying that power to the grid when needed.

Limejump, a wholly-owned Shell subsidiary that manages the largest network of batteries in the UK.


Enterprise Begins Service at Isobutane Dehydrogenation Plant

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (Enterprise) announced that its isobutane dehydrogenation (iBDH) plant in the Mont Belvieu, Texas, area began service. The facility, which is supported by long-term, fee-based contracts with investment grade customers, will ultimately have the capability to process approximately 25,000 barrels per day of butane into nearly 1 billion pounds per year of isobutylene.

The iBDH plant will provide the necessary feedstock to enable Enterprise to fully utilize its MTBE and High Purity Isobutylene assets and meet growing market demand for isobutylene. Supplies of isobutylene, which is also a byproduct of ethylene production plants, have decreased as a result of increased use of low-cost, light-end feedstocks, specifically ethane, instead of more expensive crude oil derivatives. The development of this project leverages Enterprise’s extensive integrated midstream network to turn plentiful, cost-advantaged natural gas liquids (NGLs) into a higher-valued product.

“The completion of the new iBDH facility extends our butane value chain by allowing us to increase production of both high purity and low purity isobutylene to be used primarily as feedstock to manufacture lubricants, rubber products and fuel additives,” said A.J. “Jim” Teague, chief executive officer of Enterprise’s general partner. “I would like to commend the performance of our construction contractor, Optimized Process Designs, and our employees whose expertise, diligence and more than 25 years of experience with the Oleflex technology allowed the project to be completed on time and under budget. This same technology and project execution strategy is being utilized on our second propane dehydrogenation plant, which is currently under construction at the same complex and is on schedule for completion in the first half of 2023.”


Richardson Stevedoring & Logistics Services Receives Authorization for Incineration of Loose Non-Compliant Wood Dunnage

R Warehousing & Port Services Inc., a Richardson Company, announced they received final approval by both USDA (APHIS) and US Customs and Border Protection to operate an approved incinerator for the disposal of “non-compliant” dunnage. In connection therewith, R Warehousing and Port Services, Inc. (RWPS) was further authorized to transfer any loose, clean non-compliant wood dunnage in specially assigned equipment from the Richardson Steel Terminals/PHA Woodhouse Terminal (RST) and City Docks facilities to the approved incinerator site location on Clinton Drive in Galena Park.

RWPS works closely with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and CBP to safeguard agriculture and natural resources against the entry, establishment, and spread of economically and environmentally sensitive pests (invasive species).

The Incinerator provides a cost-effective solution to one of the major challenges faced by steel carriers contending with the logistics and financial exposure originating from the handling and disposal of non-compliant wood dunnage. For more information email:   INCINERATION@richardsoncompanies.com


CAPT Diehl Slated to Speak at Port of the Future Conference

CAPT Bill Diehl, president of the Greater Houston Port Bureau, is on the agenda to speak at the Port of the Future: Improving Security, Logistics, Technology and the Workforce Conference. On Wednesday, March 11, CAPT Diehl will present information about the “Pronto Software Trial”. The Port of the Future Conference is a collaboration of the BTI Institute and the University of Houston-College of Technology. Hosted at the Hilton University of Houston on March 9-12, the conference offers corporate leaders, trade and logistics professionals, government officials, and leading researchers a collaborative, networking opportunity to examine an expanding and evolving vision of future Ports of Entry.


Lone Star Harbor Safety Committee Recognizes J.J. Plunkett for Leadership

Photo: J.J. Plunket, Houston Pilots: Captain David Foret, the ACTion group; Chair Darren Shelton, Moran Shipping Agency; and, Vice Chair CAPT Kevin Oditt, Commanding Officer, USCG Sector Houston-Galveston Commanding officer, Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston.

The Lone Star Harbor Safety Committee (HSC) recently honored J.J. Plunkett, HSC chair, for his service to the organization over the last four years. During that time, Plunkett provided leadership to the HSC as chair and vice chair. Plunkett is chief operations officer and port agent for the Houston Pilots. Previously, he served as Captain of the Port for the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) for Port Arthur and as Deputy Sector Commander for the USCG Sector Long Island Sound.

The Lone Star Harbor Safety Committee provides a public forum to address Marine Transportation System (MTS) issues with particular emphasis on navigation safety-related matters involving the ports of Houston, Galveston, Texas City, and Freeport including the associated waterways of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and offshore lightering zones. It facilitates communications between and among public and private sector entities, the Committee draws upon regional expertise and insight to address such issues as vessel traffic management, anchorage management, communications, security, significant/heavy weather preparations, maritime traffic disruption/restoration, process improvements, and any other related topics dealing with the MTS. For more information go to: https://lonestarhsc.org.


Sentinel Midstream and Freepoint Commodities Execute Agreements on Texas GulfLink’s Deepwater Crude Oil Export Facility

Sentinel Midstream, LLC, through its subsidiary Texas GulfLink, LLC, announced its alignment with Freepoint Commodities LLC (“Freepoint”) in furtherance of the construction, operation, and utilization of Texas GulfLink. Texas GulfLink is a deepwater crude oil export facility that will be located off the coast of Freeport, Texas, and will be capable of fully loading Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) vessels.

Texas GulfLink will include an onshore oil storage terminal connected by a 42” pipeline to a manned offshore platform approximately 30 miles off the Gulf Coast. From the platform, the oil will be transported to two Single Point Mooring buoys to allow for VLCCs to receive two million barrels of crude oil with loading rates up to 85,000 barrels per hour. Designed around safety, the offshore platform will have around-the-clock monitoring, which will provide shippers with a safe and reliable mooring operation for VLCCs and other crude carrier vessels.

“We are pleased with the additional level of commercial support that Freepoint’s involvement will provide to Texas GulfLink. As the project continues to move forward with the deepwater crude oil license application process, Sentinel is excited that Freepoint has chosen to align with Texas GulfLink and will utilize their substantial global and commercial resources to create value for their customers,” said Sentinel Midstream President and CEO, Jeff Ballard. “Through their Asian market focus, Freepoint will lead efforts to meet the growing demand from Asian refineries for US produced crude oil.”

“Freepoint recognizes the significant experience that the Texas GulfLink team has in deepwater port projects and the team’s ability to construct and operate to the highest standards,” said Freepoint CEO David Messer. “The Texas GulfLink project will help meet the demands our customers have to reliably source US crude oil through a neutral infrastructure export option.”


PortXchange Pronto Nominated For IAPH World Ports Sustainability Award

Pronto, a shared digital platform for real time information exchange around port calls offered by PortXchange at the Port of Rotterdam, has been named a contender for the prestigious International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) World Ports Sustainability Award. Pronto is shortlisted in the Resilient Infrastructure category that focuses on digital optimization of infrastructure. The winners, which are chosen based on global impact and on public vote, will be announced at the IAPH World Ports Conference Gala Dinner on March 18.

With Pronto, shipping companies, agents, terminals and other service providers can plan, execute and monitor all activities during a port call based on standardized data exchange. This leads to a rapid and efficient handling of port calls, which can also reduce CO2 emissions as well as anchor time resulting in lower NOx emissions.

As part of its vision to be the world’s “smartest port” and its commitment to GHG emissions reduction, the Port of Rotterdam established a start-up called PortXchange for the global roll out of Pronto last August. Maersk and Shell, Pronto’s launching customers, are testing the potential of Pronto to reduce emissions in shipping globally. To read more about PortXchange and Pronto, visit https://www.port-xchange.com/.

The World Ports Sustainability Program was initiated in 2017 by the IAPH and is guided by the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The program seeks to enhance and coordinate future sustainability efforts of ports worldwide and foster international cooperation with partners in the supply chain.

To learn more about the nominated projects, visit https://sustainableworldports.org/iaph-world-ports-sustainability-awards-2020/.

  • Date March 9, 2020
  • Tags 2020 February