Heidi Herzog, Director of Commercial & Business Development – Americas, VOPAK
"In the Americas we are actively working on developments to enable new hydrogen supply chains through infrastructure development."
How significant is Vopak’s presence in the Americas?
In the Americas, Vopak operates in six countries – Canada, US, Mexico, Panama, Colombia and Brazil. Globally, we have 79 terminal locations and 20 of these are located in the Americas. In Mexico, we have three terminals – Altamira, Veracruz, and Coatzacoalcos – where we handle products that range from chemicals, vegetable oils, and also fuels. In Panama, under our joint venture with Chevron, we operate Chevron’s terminal, which supports their array of products as well as our independent bunker oil hub on the Atlantic Coast. In Colombia we are located in Barranquilla and Cartagena where we store products including vegetable oils, chemicals and ethanol. Vopak is present in Aratu and Alemoa in Brazil, where we serve largely petrochemical and fuels distribution customers.
Can you summarize Vopak’s new strategic agenda and priorities?
Vopak rolled out its new strategy in June 2022. With global decarbonization and the energy transition at the front of our minds, the company has taken a comprehensive look at its business to determine how we can continue to support customers. For over 400 years we have been storing vital products with care, and our new strategy shapes how we will continue to support our customers for the next generations. We have unparalleled access to growth opportunities in the sectors where we are focused – energy and manufacturing – and we have put ourselves in a solid position to pursue the growth we want to achieve by improving portfolio performance, remaining committed to ESG, and following a disciplined capital framework.
What does Vopak’s approach to new energies and sustainable feedstocKs entail?
The company has a focus on four primary pillars in new energies – hydrogen and hydrogen carriers; CO2 infrastructure; low carbon and sustainable feedstocks; and long duration energy storage. With regard to hydrogen and hydrogen carriers, we are focused on enabling the development of the hydrogen economy and new hydrogen supply chains, including hydrogen carriers such as ammonia. In the Americas we are actively working on developments to enable new hydrogen supply chains through infrastructure development.
In terms of CO2, we are working on developing infrastructure that will help our customers reduce their emissions and at the same time enable blue ammonia and hydrogen projects. For example, we have announced together with partners a project in Rotterdam that is focused on providing the critical infrastructure for the handling, aggregation, and the ultimate offshore storage solution for CO2.
With regard to low carbon feedstocks, we have years of experience storing the feedstocks for both bio and renewable fuels in the US, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil, and it is a natural progression to add low carbon fuels such as renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel across our portfolio as there is significant demand for those new products. New to our portfolio is recycled plastics.
Vopak has also made several investments in technology companies that are focused on developing new technologies for flow batteries with the goal of supporting the electrification transition and the growing demands on utilities to manage green electricity with long duration energy storage.
Which countries in Latam do you see as having strong potential for growth for Vopak?
We continue to see extremely strong demand and interest at Vopak’s locations in Brazil and Mexico where we support the chemical industries, and this will continue to be an important area of our business going forward. Anything that is related to the energy transition, low carbon feedstocks and sustainable feedstocks, is currently a big focus, and we continue to get many requests within this space.
Do you have a final message?
No one solution is going to meet the global challenges we are facing today with regard to emissions, global warming and climate change. Vopak is striving to ensure that we have positioned ourselves to be able to support all of our customers’ endeavors and all of the varied and different new products that are going to come out of the energy and feedstock transitions, so that we can continue to play an important role in supporting all of these evolving supply chains and help global commerce succeed sustainably.