A new bitumen distribution centre that will serve the highways industry is set to open in London next year.
Trafigura Beheer BV, an international commodities trading and logistics company, has joined forces with the global bulk-liquid transportation, storage and distribution services firm, Stolt-Nielsen Limited, to develop a new bitumen distribution centre at Stolthaven Terminals’ Dagenham site, east of London.
Trafigura is expecting to invest a minimum of £15 million over 10 years in this significant long-term bitumen storage arrangement. The project will see the development of a new storage area at the terminal, which was acquired by Stolt-Nielsen in late 2012 and is operated by the company’s Stolthaven Terminals division. The terminal’s new bitumen storage capacity is expected to be brought online in mid-2015 and will store up to 20,000mt of the road-building commodity.
Bitumen is a key component in both road-building and maintenance, as well as being used as a waterproofing product in roofing felt. The move is a strong indication of the two firms’ long-term strategic plan to facilitate the importation of bitumen into the UK, with demand for the product expected to increase with the UK government’s future road building and maintenance programme announced in June 2013 as part of the National Infrastructure Plan.
“Bitumen is an increasingly global product with long range arbitrage becoming ever more common. This terminal will allow us to widen the UK’s supply options,” said John Bell, Trafigura’s UK and Ireland commercial manager.
Walter Wattenbergh, president of Stolthaven Terminals B.V. “This long-term bitumen agreement is a good example of the kind of customer-specific storage and handling solution that we can provide at the Dagenham terminal, as we continue to enhance and expand this facility.”
Global midstream and downstream energy company, Puma Energy, in which Trafigura is a key shareholder, plans to supply high quality bitumen products to UK customers. Puma Energy currently operates a bitumen distribution network as well as terminals across Africa, Asia Pacific and Central America.