Vopak Approved to Triple Spain Fuel Storage Near Gibraltar

Jan 02, 2014 11:52 am ET

(Updates with closing share drop in last paragraph.)

Jan. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Vopak NV won approval from Spain to triple the capacity of its terminal for storing liquids including gasoline, diesel, naphtha and bunker fuel for ships in a bay next to the British territory of Gibraltar.

The project to expand the terminal in Algeciras envisions adding 881,000 cubic meters (31 million cubic feet) of storage and 36 new tanks, according to a resolution of approval by Spain’s energy and mines department published yesterday. The Rotterdam-based company said no final decisions have been made to proceed with construction or on the project’s size.

“It’s still in a feasiblity phase,” Hans de Willigen, Vopak global director of communications and investor relations, said by phone. He said the company is holding discussions with customers and declined to estimate a budget or timing.

Vopak ranks itself as the world’s largest independent tank- storage provider. It owns 80 percent of the terminal on Spanish soil next to Gibraltar at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, according to its website. The terminal serves clients with supply contracts worldwide.

The company was required in a previous Spanish government resolution to meet conditions to protect the environment around the site that’s also near a bird sanctuary and wetlands.

Last month Vopak said the market in 2014 looked to be “challenging” to exceed its record earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization set in 2012. Parts of the European market are particularly competitive, it said. The stock, a member of the Bloomberg Europe Transportation index, fell 20 percent last year when the index increased 31 percent.

The shares declined 1.4 percent today in Amsterdam to close at 41.91 euros. The index dropped 1.2 percent.

--Editors: Randall Hackley, Alex Devine