Belgian company Geldof (Engicon nv) has started the construction of two gigantic petroleum storage tanks in the Polish city of Gdańsk. The final client PERN ‘Przyjaźń’ Group is investing €200m to build Poland’s very first port terminal. The port project will safeguard the supplies of crude oil, liquid fuels and chemicals in the region.
Geldof is providing a significant portion of the terminal’s total storage volume with the construction of two new double-walled tanks, each with a capacity of 62,500m³. The storage capacity of the first phase which is currently being executed is 375.000m³. In total the terminal will be able to store 700,000m³. PERN ‘Przyjaźń’ Group will bring the Geldof storage tanks into use at the end of this year.
Strategically important project
“This terminal is strategically very important for Poland,” explains Krzysztof Marek Diduch, Managing Director for Engicon Poland, the Polish branch of Geldof. “Poland is currently reliant on crude oil supplies from Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union. The country has limited possibilities for producing its own crude oil, but this terminal means Poland can now import crude oil from all over the world. The storage tanks will safeguard the energy supplies for the entire region.”
The terminal is being built in a strategic location: in Gdańsk port just five kilometres from Poland’s second largest refinery called Lotos . The Gdańsk refinery is also one of the largest in Eastern Europe.
Geldof’s activities in Poland fit in with the design and construction company’s geographical expansion, making it one of the market leaders in Europe. Geldof has recently completed projects in Guadeloupe, Martinique and Nigeria, and the company is currently also building storage tanks in South Africa and Bulgaria, among other places.
“Our first project in Poland is extremely significant,” explains Dieter Van Kerrebroek, Project Manager for Geldof. “No more than ten storage tanks of this size are produced every year. Once it has been successfully completed, this first phase will serve as a good reference for future projects in Poland, as well as leading to the second phase of the project, the construction of various other storage tanks.”
“As always, the new market and scope of the project brings necessary challenges with it,” continues Van Kerrebroek. “Local legislation, specific quality requirements and reciprocal agreements between Polish auditing organisations and the client have an impact on many facets of the project. Good communication is crucial here. Geldof is taking care of local contacts and coordination from its Polish subsidiary company to ensure everything runs smoothly.