Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Long Beach Oil Terminal Pact Approved

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners on March 8 approved a letter of intent with Vopak Terminals North America to study development of a 28-acre site on Pier T as a deep-water terminal for crude oil and petroleum products including gasoline.

Vopak is a division of the Rotterdam, Netherlands-based Royal Vopak, one of the world’s largest operators of liquid bulk marine facilities. The preliminary agreement between the company and the port sets basic deal terms and "green-lights" an environmental impact study of a “liquid bulk” terminal for petroleum tanker ships.

Long Beach first invited proposals from the industry to develop and lease the site in 2010. The port received three proposals, including Vopak’s.

The terminal would be the fourth crude oil terminal in the Port of Long Beach, but the first built since 1983. The three current facilities are a BP terminal on Pier T, a BP Terminal on Pier B and a Tesoro terminal, also on Pier B.

Currently, about 200 million barrels of oil is brought into the Port of Long Beach each year. Estimated annual throughput at the new Vopak terminal would range from 21 million to 55 million barrels of oil annually.

All relevant environmental, safety and security issues would be reviewed as part of the environmental study. It would take up to four-and-a-half years to do a full environmental review, design, permit and construct the new terminal, according to the port.

If the environmental impact report is certified and plans approved, Vopak would invest $120 million on land-side improvements for the first phase of construction, while the port would conduct about $37 million worth of dredging and other waterside improvements.

The terminal would be served by nearby pipeline connections to oil and petroleum product distribution facilities and oil refineries.

Preliminary estimates show that the first phase would generate nearly 1,200 jobs for the 18-month construction period. Under the preliminary agreement, the port would receive at least $2.9 million annually in revenue once the terminal is constructed, for phase one. The project would have up to three phases.