Advario is a leading partner in liquid storage logistics with a global network of tank terminals, handling a broad range of products from chemicals, gases and fuels to new energy products. They provide energy storage solutions for partners using their integrated expertise in different functions. Currently, Advario operates a network of 13 terminals around the world, working with customers to build industry leading integrated solutions. 

Each partnership begins with the conception phase, allowing them to tailor solutions to each customer, assessing their needs and delivering the best solution possible. 

Advario offers value-driven design and construction services for feedstock and rundown infrastructure. The company also operates and maintains multi-user terminals, ensuring safe and reliable operations and consistent delivery for customers.

Interview with Yvan Tavernier, Chief Operating Officer at Advario.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Yvan Tavernier: Storing large volumes of products for our customers comes with the responsibility to ensure no harm to people and the environment. In all of our design and operations we adhere to the highest safety standards. Moving to digitalization also reduces the number of human physical handling on site, reducing risks for accidents. Advario facilitates transfer of product from ships, vessels and barges, train, truck and pipeline connections. Depending on the nature of the product these can be stored ambient, heated, cooled or refrigerated, e.g. ammonia gas. Degassing and pressure release are important safety measures, along with the control of emissions to air. 

Our broad in-house engineering capabilities allow us to design and construct sustainable and efficient infrastructure. We constantly invest in meaningful business propositions and partnerships which help us find new and fruitful solutions for our industry.

Over the years, we have designed numerous tanks and jetties, inland distribution systems and related infrastructure, leveraging our understanding of automation and digitalization of operating systems. Our capabilities across civil, mechanical, E&I, and marine engineering allow us to create sustainable, flexible, efficient, and reliable designs. Additionally, we have proven expertise in developing sophisticated cryogenic infrastructure for ammonia, propane, butane and other gases. 

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

Y.T: End 2021 we commissioned the second of two new large tanks for liquified gases at the Advario Gas Terminal, Antwerp Belgium. This is the largest propane storage tank in Europe with a capacity of 135.000 cbm. The operations teams made an additional improvement in the compressor use that saves up to 10% electricity each year and 30% water need for the overall terminal.

This year we announced a partnership with Braskem Idesa to build and operate a US$400 million greenfield ethane import terminal in Veracruz, Mexico. The increased availability of ethane in Mexico that will be realized by this project will support and increase the competitiveness of the entire Mexican petrochemical and plastics industry. The 10-hectare site is in the northern part of the Pajaritos lagoon and will be connected to Braskem Idesa’s complex via an 11-kilometer pipeline. This project is part of the Mexican government’s main development initiatives, generating approximately 2,000 jobs during construction.

We signed a strategic alliance agreement with the Daya Bay Government in China to optimize the world-class Daya Bay Petrochemical Industrial Park, marking a milestone in the successful development of China’s petrochemical industry. 

At present, we are developing an electrochemical energy storage terminal in Jurong Island, with an innovative scalable vanadium redox flow battery structure which is approximately five times more space-efficient than current industry standards.

We are also growing our business with storage of biofuels and Sustainable Aviation Fuel, for example in Singapore and Finland. 

Advario Stolthaven Antwerp and Advario Gas Terminal have joined forces with Fluxys to study the feasibility of building an open-access green ammonia import terminal at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges. The plan is to offer the market a robust solution to its growing demands for importing and storing green energy and raw materials against a backdrop of ongoing decarbonization.

We have further strengthened our service for Ammonia business, with a pipeline connection between our terminal and end users in Nanjing, China. The pipeline connection replaces truck transport mode, increasing safety and reducing CO2 emissions from transportation

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

Y.T: The infrastructure we design and construct is for the storage and transportation of chemicals, gases and new energy products. These are now dominantly transport fuels for road, marine and air, fine petrochemicals such as propylene oxide or bulk methanol, and liquefied gases such as butane and LPG. Examples of new energy products are Ammonia, biofuels and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Our connected customer portfolio ranges from refineries, crackers and chemical plants to transportation infrastructure (rail, road, ship).

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? 

Y.T: As we service a diverse range of customers and their industry activities, markets are in different stages of development. The energy transition is on every business’ agenda and we are actively engaging with customers to service more low carbon products, such as biofuels, methanol and ammonia. 

The market and technology developments for transport fuels for road and marine are investing in electrification, hydrogen carriers and biofuels. For air transport there is a steady development in the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel or synthetic fuel. In petrochemicals the need for more recycling and circular solutions is driving developments of biobased products and waste-to-plastics. 

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

Y.T: While the demand for energy continues to grow, climate change remains our core concern. It is for this reason that we are so driven and committed to partnering for better business and investing in innovative and sustainable business propositions. Our goal is to help our industry evolve while cutting down emissions and transitioning towards new energies. 

Advario is embedding sustainability in every aspect of our business. Our ambition is to be net zero by 2040 latest for our operations, while materially increasing our share of sustainable revenues. We strive for a positive impact on communities while creating value for employees, customers, shareholders and society.

Likewise, safety and safe behavior is a precondition to work – it is recognized, acknowledged and reinforced. We follow a zero-tolerance policy for safety breaches and are committed to preventing all accidents and protecting the environment.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? 

Y.T: On the way to digitalization the Singapore Trade Data Exchange was launched in June 2022 as common data infrastructure to facilitate trusted and secure data sharing across supply chains. Together with Standard Chartered and Trafigura, Advario completed their first live electronic oil inventory financing via Singapore Trade Data Exchange (SGTraDex) in September.

Following pilot project outcomes in Singapore, the application of flow batteries could be more widely marketed. We already have experience with storage and services for products of the future, such as methanol and ammonia. The wider application of these products in new global supply chains will drive the demand for and our role in these new energy products.

E.E: What estimations do you have for the coming year?

Y.T: Advario wants to be a front-runner in the energy transition, and we have committed to sustainably grow our business through both brownfield investments, where we optimize existing land, as well as brand-new greenfield projects.

We have joined networks on hydrogen, such as H2 and the Hydrogen Council, as we see an important role in the development of these global supply chains and related infrastructure. 

Fluxys, Advario Stolthaven Antwerp and Advario Gas Terminal have joined forces to study the feasibility of building an open-access green ammonia import terminal at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges. The plan is to offer the market a robust solution to its growing demands for importing and storing green energy and raw materials against a backdrop of ongoing decarbonization. Fluxys and the Advario terminals are now engaging with major industrial operators and energy suppliers to introduce their project.  

A short-term shift to fossil fuels is expected due to the energy crisis and limited supply security of carbon alternatives. In the long run, however, the demand will shift to cheaper low or no carbon alternatives instead of costly fossil fuels. As a result, our role at Advario will be more important than ever to accelerate the shift from fossil to low carbon alternatives.