Developing a sustainable terminal for the future

Stolthaven Singapore is implementing several sustainability initiatives as part of its core company philosophy to reduce its impact on the environment.

Several sustainability initiatives to generate more renewable forms of energy to power Stolthaven Singapore are being developed to reduce the terminal’s carbon footprint. A project to harness the potential of renewable energy has involved solar panels being installed to the administration and substation buildings at the terminal located in the Tembusu Cluster on Jurong Island.

The company entered into a power purchase agreement with the Renewables Energy Corporation (now known as Sembcorp Solar) in April 2015, where 501 TwinPeak series panels were installed, making it one of the first bulk storage terminals in the world to use solar energy.

These panels have the capability of generating 138-kilowatt peak (kWp), and the energy generated is used to provide electricity for general appliances in the administrative building. This initiative is one of several being implemented at the terminal as part of the company’s ambition to improve sustainability across its global network of 16 tank terminals.

In an interview with Tank Storage Magazine, Guy Bessant, president of Stolthaven Terminals, says that the company is continuously exploring how new technologies can mitigate its impact on the environment. "It is important for Stolthaven to improve sustainability because it is beneficial for the company, our stakeholders and the environment," he said.

"The company believes it is the right thing to do even if sometimes, such efforts do not necessarily deliver substantial returns in terms of their financial benefits. We are committed to improving operational efficiencies and minimising the levels of resources that we consume."

Reducing the energy footprint

Situated within the industrial zone of Jurong Island, Stolthaven Singapore serves as an industrial terminal for the large and growing numbers of chemical manufacturers and suppliers in the region. It specialises in the handling and storage of bulk gases, flammable and combustible liquids, including hazardous chemicals, corrosive substances and general chemicals.

In addition to renewable power generation, the solar panels can improve the energy efficiency of buildings by reducing the amount of solar heat that enters the building. This in turn optimises the energy consumption of air conditioning units used to maintain the building’s temperature.

"Although we do not expect to see significant financial savings, our approach is aligned with Stolhaven’s global strategy to reduce its impact on the environment. It also allows us to test the technology, which can then potentially be used at other sites, including several that are being evaluated in Europe."

Additionally, the facility now has dedicated pipeline connections for nitrogen supplies to its jetties, which is more efficient than previously trucking-in such nitrogen supply to the jetties. An economiser has also been installed to reduce consumption of diesel for the boiler.

Last year the terminal completed its first concurrent bunkering operations along with Stolt Tankers, part of the Stolt-Nielsen Group. This means that while berthed at the terminal, a ship can perform loading and discharging operations at the same time as refueling. This reduces the need for a separate bunker call during which time the ship would be burning fuel for the engines.

Possible future sustainability projects at the terminal include a variety of renewables including floating solar panels as well as energy storage. The terminal is also working with the other logistics divisions within the group – Stolt Tankers and Stolt Tank Containers – on potential future sustainability projects.

Using big data for terminal optimisation

In addition to harnessing the power of renewable energy, the facility is exploring the potential of big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to further improve terminal utilisation.

Stolthaven Singapore has signed an MoU with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A* STAR) and the Institute of High Performance Computing to examine the use of data to optimise the occupancy of the terminal’s jetties. The project is currently in the preliminary stage of data collection.

"We are always exploring new ways of improving our services for our customers," says Bessant. "Within the Stolthaven network, we are currently evaluating how other technologies, such as smart glasses and robot process automation can enhance our customer offering, improve safety and enhance the way our employees work. Where applicable, these will be implemented at Stolthaven Singapore."

Looking ahead, the terminal is working in collaboration with Stolt Tank Containers to co-develop a laden/unladen ISO tank storage facility for non-dangerous goods, which is due to be completed next year. "This will allow flexibility for customers of Stolthaven Singapore and Stolt Tank Containers to acquire terminaling and ISO tank services within the same proximity, thereby improving our handling efficiency for our customers."

This article first appeared in Tank Storage Magazine, August/September 2019 Volume 15 Issue NO.4