Tank Storage Asia 2019 boasted record visitor numbers this September, as terminals, traders, petrochemical producers and equipment suppliers gathered in Singapore.
The event saw a 35% increase in visitors this year, attracted by a strong conference line-up, new one-
to-one networking opportunities and a whole host of ground-breaking technologies on the show floor.
Over 50 exhibitors were present on the show floor, with many new names appearing in 2019,
including Matrix Applied Technologies, DoveChem, FQE Chemicals and APMS.
The show attracted decision-makers from across the region including representatives from Shell,
Saudi Aramco, Total, Dialog, Chevron, BP Singapore, BASF, ExxonMobil, Singapore LNG, Horizon,
Thai Oil Group, Rotary Engineering, Cargill, Neste Singapore, Pertamina, Odfjell Terminals and many
‘It is a good event to meet with the industry’s key players,’ says Vincent Quek, Regional Manager at
Dixon Valve. ‘It saves us time and resources to meet in one place.’
Insights from industry leaders
The two-day conference programme featured speakers from key terminals in the region, including
Vopak, Stolthaven and Oiltanking, who discussed crucial topics ranging from new sustainability
initiatives, innovations and first-hand experiences on implementing new safety case regulations.
Edwin Ebrahimi, Innovation Engagement Leader at Vopak spoke about the significant shift in
innovation the terminal has seen in the last five years – from exploring proof of concepts in 2015 to
having innovation truly embedded in the company’s culture by 2020.
In this time Vopak has explored drones, wireless open and close sensors, digital checklists and
remote-operated vehicles. ‘We don’t innovate for the sake of it,’ Ebrahimi explained. ‘First and
foremost, we introduce new technology to create a safer environment at our terminals.’
‘The industry has a joint responsibility to continue improving its safety performance. Sharing stories of
successful deployments of innovations at events such as Tank Storage Asia helps raise awareness
and speeds up the acceptance of innovation in our industry.’
Innovation and forward-thinking were key themes throughout the event, with Mark Stuart, the
conference keynote speaker, giving a presentation on how the tank storage industry can move into
the digital age.
Stuart asked the audience for their input on what is most important when it comes to driving the tank
storage sector forward, and responses included the use of drones as well as ensuring companies ‘fail
fast’ when it comes to testing out new initiatives.
He spoke about data being the next big commodity, saying that companies need to invest in data and
have a comprehensive data strategy to ensure results.
Mark Lim, Commercial Manager at Stolthaven, along with Chye Poh Chua, CEO at ShipsFocus
provided a unique insight into how Stolthaven is already using big data to its advantage. The
partnership has been able to collect and use data to improve jetty scheduling – identify and reduce
wait times, reduce demurrage and improve utilisation.
‘This is the perfect event for the terminal industry,’ says Lim. ‘It’s a great way of getting the industry
together – terminal operators, our customers, and vendors – to share experiences. It has been a great
success and we’ll definitely be back next year.’
New business opportunities
With the event held just days after the drone strikes that knocked out half of Saudi Arabia’s oil supply,
it is no surprise that geopolitical tensions and volatile market conditions featured highly in the
Paul Hickin, Associate Director at Platts spoke of the fragile balance between supply & demand in
today’s marketplace. Oil demand worries continue in the wake of the global slowdown and the
recession risk is now at 35%, Hickin explained. However, IMO2020 could provide a demand spike
and oil demand growth could remain above 1 million b/d in 2019 and 2020.
S&P Global Platts predicted that oil prices are likely to break out of the $55-$65/barrel range, more
likely testing the high of $70/barrel, if not up to $80/barrel. However, longer-term prices will head back
to an average of around $55/barrel.
Sushant Gupta, Director of Asia-Pacific Refining at Wood Mackenzie echoed this, adding that product
imbalances and changes to trade flows represent significant new opportunities for storage operators.
Gupta also spoke of the significant slowdown in oil demand growth, with current world demand growth
at its slowest level for the past 10 years. Added to this, demand for gasoline is also expected to slow
post-2030, as a result of higher penetration of electric vehicles & better fuel efficiency.
Overbuilding of refineries has created further imbalances, with around 3 million bpd of surplus
capacity expected over the next 5 years.
The conference was attended by terminals, oil majors, analysts and regulators from across the region.
‘The Tank Storage Asia Conference provided us with an insight into the regional and global storage
market’ says Ramadan Fan, Domestic Marketing Consultant at Saudi Aramco. ‘This gave us the
opportunity to connect with peers from across the industry’
New initiatives for 2019
Tank Storage Asia introduced TSA Connect, a one-to-one networking platform, which proved a huge
success with exhibitors and visitors alike. Over 1550 meeting requests were submitted through the
networking platform in the lead-up to the event.
‘This networking platform was a great addition to this year’s Tank Storage Asia,’ says Jon Verlander,
Regional Sales Manager at Saferack, ‘It has helped us meet the people we needed to see at the
This year’s show attracted visitors from across the region, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia,
China, Vietnam, Australia, Thailand and the Republic of Korea.
‘The southeast Asia market is a large market for us but we don’t have a lot of penetration here,’ says
Jeff Heath, General Manager at Matrix Applied Technologies. ‘Historically we’ve done very well in the
region and we’re looking to grow the business in the very near future. Tank Storage Asia helps us do
this. This event pulls in the people we need to talk to in order to help us become more recognised in
After such a successful show, planning has already started on next year’s event, which will be held on
7 & 8 October at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Find out more at www.tankstorageasia.com