Spanish logistics company secures 50% stake in ammonia terminal in US

Spanish logistics company for liquid products Exolum has completed the acquisition of a 50% interest in Vopak Moda Houston (VMH), an ammonia storage, import and export terminal located on the Houston Ship Channel, from U.S. Moda Midstream.

Courtesy of Exolum

The operation took place after obtaining approval from the competent regulatory authorities, Exolum said, adding that Dutch Royal Vopak remains a 50% shareholder in the venture.

Exolum noted that the acquisition enables the company to establish a key presence in the U.S. Gulf Coast low-carbon ammonia logistics infrastructure and represents an opportunity for Exolum’s business development in the U.S. as well as the acquisition of key competences to implement innovative projects in Spain that are aligned with the energy transition.

The company also pointed out that Vopak Moda Houston is the only waterborne ammonia terminal on the Houston Ship Channel with a very large gas carrier (VLGC)-capable deepwater berth and is strategically connected via pipeline to the Port of Houston’s petrochemical complex, which makes it a key terminal.

The facility currently provides ammonia and natural gas liquid (NGL) storage services, with VMH announcing at the end of 2023 plans to build a new facility for the large-scale export of low-carbon ammonia.

Namely, Inpex Corporation, Air Liquide, LSB Industries and VMH agreed to collaborate on the pre-FEED for the development of the project which in its first phase is targeted to produce more than 1.1 million tons per annum (mtpa) of low-carbon ammonia by the end of 2027, with options for future expansion.

Jorge Lanza, Exolum’s CEO, commented: “Exolum wishes to become a key player in the development of supply chains for new sustainable energy vectors such as ammonia and green methanol, both of which are hydrogen derivatives. This operation, Exolum’s first in the U.S., will enable us to continue strengthening our position in strategic ports. It also allows us to further promote the energy transition and the decarbonization of mobility, which are central to our Sustainability Master Plan.”

To note, Exolum and Vopak have alliances in two other companies: Terquimsa, engaged in the receipt, storage and dispatch of bulk liquid products from its facilities located in the ports of Tarragona and Barcelona, and HSL Technologies, a French start-up focused on the development of hydrogen logistics, in this latter case together with other partners.

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