March 25, 2019 [Tank News International] – Stolthaven Terminals has seen its results in 2018 improved for the fourth consecutive year. Revenue increased to $252 million from $243 million in 2017, while operating income climbed to $76 million, compared with $54 million in 2017.
Excluding the impact of one-time items in both years, operating income increased by 12.1 percent in 2018. The company said the results were driven by stable market conditions and its focus on improving utilisation, combined with ongoing initiatives to create a more customer-centric, service-oriented business to improve long-term operational performance and profitability, customer satisfaction and service.
Operational highlights of 2018 included strong performances in both Houston and New Orleans, where utilisation levels rose to more than 95 percent, driven by both strong economic conditions in the U.S., along with enhanced marketing activities and terminal optimisation efforts in New Orleans.
In recent years, Stolthaven has invested more than $100 million at its Houston terminal, including a newly constructed dock which began operations in October 2018.
Other enhancements as part of an ongoing investment programme include expansion of barge handling capacity, an expansion and upgrade of the terminal’s waste treatment facility, which also handles waste for customers, and upgrades to tanks and equipment related to automation. Future expansion opportunities include the development of land, which, if fully utilised, could double the terminal’s existing capacity.
Results at the division’s terminal in Santos, Brazil, were strong in 2018, despite challenging domestic economic conditions. Progress was also made in Australia with the addition of a new berth at the Newcastle terminal in New South Wales. In New Zealand, Stolthaven reached an agreement to consolidate its operations in Auckland at its Wynyard terminal, with plans to add capacity at its Mount Maunganui terminal in Tauranga.
Capital projects were completed at Stolthaven’s terminal in Dagenham. The terminal – acquired in 2012 and located on the River Thames, London, UK – has benefited from more than $20 million in extensive modernisation and expansion investments.
The year also saw improved safety performance at Stolthaven Terminals, with no serious incidents recorded.
Chemical storage markets are expected to remain stable once again in 2019. While Stolthaven’s focus on chemicals reduces its exposure to volatility in the petroleum sector, continued volatility in oil, combined with the ongoing risk of trade wars, is creating uncertainty among customers, prompting many to make contingency plans for their supply-chain and investment strategies.
For Stolthaven itself, additional capacity to meet expected increases in demand will be coming online in 2019 at its terminals in Santos, Brazil; New Orleans, U.S.; Westport, Malaysia and Ulsan, South Korea. Additional capacity will be operational in 2020 in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand and in New Orleans, U.S.
“Our aim is to deliver sustainable profitability to shareholders by providing high quality storage services and value-added distribution and service capabilities that set us apart from other operators,” stated Guy Bessant, president of Stolthaven Terminals.