Major oil refineries and companies situated in the port of Antwerp in Belgium are investing billions of euros to upgrade their Antwerp sites, according to the Antwerp port authorities.
"The Antwerp oil and chemical sector has benefited from a steady stream of investments in recent years. The many planned investments will significantly boost this capacity even more, further strengthening the position that Antwerp already holds as the largest integrated petrochemical cluster in Europe," said the Antwerp port in a press release Thursday.
"The future prospects too are very promising: Total, Kuwait Petroleum International, and Praxair, for example, have recently announced large investment projects in Antwerp," it noted.
The press release was referring to the announcement made by Kuwait Petroleum International Lubricants (Q8Oils) last October that it is investing 63 million euro to modernise its lubricating oil plant in Antwerp.
"The investments will facilitate Q8Oils growth in the lubricants international market and are the next phase of the on-going investment at the Blue Gate industrial area in the South of Antwerp, which is also the head office for Q8Oils global Sales and Marketing function," it had said in its October announcement.
Kuwait Petroleum International Lubricants (Q8Oils) is said to be a significant player in the European and international lubricants markets.
With four European blending plants, Q8Oils oversees the research and development, production, distribution, and sales and marketing of products to all market sectors in the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg), Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, and exports directly to end consumers through authorized distributors in over 75 countries.
Meanwhile, the Antwerp port in today's press release noted that during the past ten years, the volume of shipping freight for tank storage companies at Antwerp has expanded by 151 percent. During the same period, the number of tank storage terminals has risen by 40 percent, to 15 in all.
The total tank storage capacity has more than doubled, to 6.3 million m3, it said.
The port of Antwerp handled 95,6 million tonnes of freight during the first six months of this year, an increase of 2.0 percent in comparison with the same period in 2012. Liquid bulk in particular showed strong growth, especially petroleum derivatives.
During the first six months of 2013, a total of 7,234 seagoing ships called at the port of Antwerp, down by 1.7 percent compared with the same period last year.