The port of Rotterdam’s plans to develop a USD1 billion tank terminal for Russian oil and oil products have unexpectedly fallen through due to doubts about the feasibility of the project on the part of its Russian partner Shtandart TT and its parent, the Summa Group.
The port and Summa said in a joint statement that Shtandard TT had recently asked for talks about the feasibility of the Tanker Terminal Europort West project and that these talks had resulted in their decision to terminate the contract they had signed in 2011 for the project.
That contract, notably, set out the schedule for deliveries of oil and oil products to the terminal, which was to have had three million cubic metres of storage space.
The port of Rotterdam told IHS Maritime that the decision would not lead to a financial loss for the port since the only investments it had made had been for preparatory work for the project.
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There was no immediate response from Summa to a request for an explanation for its reasons for withdrawing from the project. The site had been handed over to Shtandart in early 2013 and, by the early part of this year, all the necessary building and environmental permits for construction and operation of the terminal had been obtained.
The port said that it believed that it could still be possible to develop the terminal with another party. Summa had been in competition, moreover, with a partnership between Russia’s Global Ports Investments and Royal Vopak for the original award in 2011.
“The handling of mineral oil products was up by more than 25% in the first six months of 2015,” it said in the joint statement it released with Summa. “The main reason behind this is an increase in Russian fuel oil that is shipped to the Far East via Rotterdam.”
Noting that 30% of the crude oil handled by the port came from Russia, it said that it was convinced that the termination of the Shtandart contract would not affect the level of oil volumes shipped between Russia and Rotterdam.