VTTI is a forerunner in the energy storage industry. With 15 terminals existing already and one under construction and commissioning, the company has established itself as a trusted choice for its high storage capacity and flexible options.
Its Fujairah terminals facility has one of the largest capacities VTTI offers, and has become a hub of growth and stability for the business. Located at the entry and exit point of the Straits of Hormuz, more than 1.6 million cubic metres of storage capacity is available, with access to nine flexible jetties meaning that any size of vessel can be accommodated up to a partly laden VLCC.
Siavash Alishahpour is the Managing Director of VTTI Fujairah Terminals Ltd, and discusses with us the many advantages of this particular facility.
“This terminal is the pioneer of all the industry facilities here in Fujairah,” he says. “It was the first one here, and is renowned for that reason, plus it’s located on a very prime plot of land. VTTI is known by everyone in the energy and utilities industry.”
An industry leader
As a terminal group, VTTI designs, builds, operates, and owns tank storage as the core service of its business. While this is standard practice for the industry, Alishahpour believes there are small but essential elements of VTTI which differentiate it from others.
“When you go into great detail, you see the differences,” he explains. “Customers look at how well equipped a facility is, how health, safety and environment is managed, how flexible the team and operations can be, what types of different products you can handle, what KPIs you have as a company, and how you deliver those KPIs. All of those things set businesses apart from one another.”
The main strength of VTTI, specifically in this case the Fujairah terminal, is its dedication to safety, reliability and customer satisfaction. Alishahpour believes the success in this area can be attributed to smart management and intelligent thinking, which culminates in a streamlined business model where all staff work to maintain the image the business is so proud of.
“We strive to be the best we can be when it comes to health, safety, environment, quality, and security,” he states. “This is very important. We try our own best to make sure the highest level of all of these matters can be defined and implemented, and we have a track record to prove our success which is visible to everybody with facts and figures. But history isn’t enough – you have to focus on present and future as well. It’s about how you can further improve what you’ve got, and how you can keep that up.”
Safety as a service
VTTI Fujairah Terminals uses HSEQ (Health, Safety, Environment, and Quality) guidelines to ensure a properly defined system of health and safety management, enabling the organisation to focus on targets and key performance indicators – a top priority for Alishahpour as a leader with so much responsibility over potentially high risk operations.
“It’s very important for the customer to see that we have a very safe, secure site,” he says. “How do we prove we are a good operator? How can we show that we’re competent and can deliver targets while handling multiple complex operations? That comes down to the quality of the people we have in our organisation, and how we are investing in their training, developing them in their positions, and making sure they are always major part of the business.
“Then you come to the hardware factor, which is about flexibility, and customers know that very well when they work with us. We put ourselves in their shoes and can see exactly what they desire when it comes to their business requirements. If you show all of that as one global picture to them, the trust follows.”
The company’s dedication to its staff is blatant and admirable. “The most valuable asset any organisation has is the people,” Alishahpour says, “because everything else is going to be run by those smart, skilled, qualified people.” VTTI’s need to show its credentials as HSEQ-compliant and secure is for the benefit of employees, customers, and stakeholders alike, to prove that while this industry holds specific risks, that doesn’t make it perilous.
“I believe when you’re managing correctly and making sure the check list is ticked properly, it’s not dangerous,” Alishahpour says. “It’s very important how we manage risk, and how we make sure risk is totally in our control. That way we give comfort to everyone and they know they have our support. When it comes to HSEQ, it’s not the job of one individual or department – it’s the duty of everyone to make sure we are updating activity, otherwise it’s very difficult to deliver the service.”
Another vital element of the VTTI is the customer relationship: customers are treated as partners. Rather than simply following customer instructions, VTTI Fujairah Terminals work closely with them in order to develop more efficient plans together. “That’s what your customer needs,” Alishahpour explains.
The future for VTTI and its Fujairah facility looks bright. The Crude Tank Terminal Project commissioned in April last year fully displays the breadth of VTTI’s flexibility and range of offerings. A sophisticated facility, in the year since its inception it has already shown high levels of efficiency and performance, and has gone above and beyond its mission and defined targets. Like the Fujairah terminal – and every other one of VTTI’s top-of-the-range facilities – flexibility truly is key.
“An advantage of being ahead of our time with our facilities is the main drive to make changes,” Alishahpour says. We are ready to change if and when necessary.
“We have always strived to be flexible, and looking back at the last 10 years and the expansion and modifications we’ve done, we prove that we are. We have a standard to make sure we are keeping ourselves on top of the market and making sure our customers are satisfied.”
The Fujairah terminal specifically is sitting in a very competitive market, but thanks to its dedication to expansion and the highest quality, it ensures VTTI remains the most popular choice for the customers.
Alishahpour concludes: “We at VTTI Fujairah Terminals Ltd always try to make sure we keep ourselves at the height of performance, meaning that when it comes down to it, we remain the preferred location for traders, trading companies, and customers alike.”