July 04, 2013 [EnergyAsia] — The following is an edited version of a speech by Royal Vopak chairman and CEO, Eelco Hoekstra, on the occasion of its Singapore subsidiary’s 30th anniversary celebration last week.
“In 1980, what started as an idea to predict future opportunities towards the next decade, materialised into the founding of Vopak in Singapore.
The brainchild of the forward thinking Carel van den Driest – previous Chairman of Van Ommeren – Sebarok terminal, commissioned in 1983, became Vopak’s first terminal in Asia and the first third-party oil storage facility in Singapore.
Singapore’s prime location at the crossroads of Asia, its free market economy, transparency, visionary master-planning and openness to foreign investments provided the ideal foundation for a synergistic relationship between Singapore and Vopak (then Van Ommeren).
This is evident in our growth story – from one terminal (Sebarok terminal) to four terminals (Vopak Sakra, Vopak Penjuru, Vopak Banyan) with total capacity at over three million cubic meters spread across western Singapore, in what is now one of the world’s major energy hubs.
Today, we continue to seek avenues for growth, with the latest addition being the 100,000 cbm industrial storage in Banyan, which was recently commissioned.
Thirty years on, Singapore and Vopak have created a ‘pearl’ of a partnership. One solidified by the ongoing support and commitment of our customers, the Singapore government, our partners, contractors and notably, our dedicated employees.
Singapore for many of my colleagues, their families and for me has been a special experience. Personally, when appointed CEO three years ago, I left heavy heartedly – as of the places we have lived as a family, Singapore felt most like home, and is in fact considered our second home.
For Vopak, Singapore will continue to be our strong regional base – amongst our other regional hubs in Rotterdam (Vopak Europoort, Vopak Terminal Botlek, Vopak Vlaardingen, Vopak Chemiehaven Vopak Laurenshaven), Houston (Galena Park, Deer Park) and Fujairah – and also the “launch pad” for our expansions in Asia.
We are optimistic that Vopak Terminals Singapore (VTS) will continue to serve as a model and the nucleus for our future growth in the Asia region.