Bio and LNG fuels have grown in importance in Western Europe in recent years and downstream oil player, Argos Energies intends to use its extensive market experience and knowledge to keep ahead of this industry curve.
THE NETHERLANDS’ FASTEST GROWING OIL COMPANY
Argos Energies is looking for alternative sources of energy by branching out into using LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) as bunker fuel. As the largest independent player, not listed on the stock exchange or state affiliated in the Western European downstream oil market, Argos Energies combines storage and distribution with the international trade-in and sale of mineral oils and biofuels.
With a range of customers including major oil companies, international shipping firms, trading firms and resellers, Argos products are among the highest quality in the region, boasting a reliable supply and a streamlined delivery process.
In addition to further expanding its current activities, in scale as well as geographically, Argos will focus on a wider spectrum of low-emission energy products in 2015 and beyond, with safety, sustainability and the environment a priority throughout. “This is a key aspect of the business going forward as biofuel has become an important new product group for Argos,” says Piet Van den Ouden, Business Development Manager for Argos Energies.
The company is gearing up to take the position among Western Europe’s front runners in the land, sea and air markets for both biofuels and other renewable energy services. Consequently, Argos comprises a well-balanced range of the most sustainable and innovative products currently available in the market.
In 2016, Argos Energies will introduce the first LNG bunkering vessel, which will supply the fuel to inland shipping and marine sectors, widening the reach of greener fuels in Europe’s downstream oil sector.
EMERGING ENERGY SOURCES
Argos is a member of the National LNG platform and European project partner of the LNG ‘master plan’. Using LNG as bunker fuel for seagoing and inland vessels is a new concept in the maritime sector. Due to the stricter environmental regulations in Northwest Europe and the economic benefits for ship-owners, LNG as bunker fuel has big advantages including low exhaust emissions and a competitive price when compared to oil.
As a member of the Society Gas for Marine Fuel in London, Van den Ouden is confident that Argos fulfil the customers’ needs from simply a supplier of bunker oil products, to sell and support its knowledge of LNG as bunker fuel. “Our target is to become one of the leading suppliers of LNG as bunker fuel at the Port of Rotterdam, and my own personal depth of knowledge from years as an independent project manager in the oil and gas industry will contribute greatly to our strategy,” he says.
INVESTMENTS IN BUNKERING
Argos Bunkering is now a leading player in the European bunker market, offering products and services to the entire maritime sector, covering the marine transport sector as well as the coastal and inland shipping trade, from large vessels to small ones.
“Argos is able to supply the required marine fuel at every possible specification, at any desired moment, within the entire ARA area and the European inland waterways,” states Van den Ouden. “Through our worldwide imports and our independent market position we can guarantee continuity of supply.”
In line with its plan to move into new energies, Argos has addressed the demand for alternative energy sources by introducing the first combined gas oil and LNG bunkering vessel in the second quarter of 2016. The vessel is designed to provide gas oil and or LNG as a fuel to inland shipping and marine sectors in the port area.
“Our customers are investing in the new market for LNG as bunker fuel and we believe it is a logical step for us to move into this area as a result. As market trends are always changing, we must innovate to remain ahead and create a long term plan for the business,” adds Van den Ouden.
Argos provides transport services across the entire oil supply chain from refinery to terminal and from terminal to service station. Moreover, the company is one of the few market players that can guarantee permanent shipping capacity.
Through its interest in Interstream Barging, Argos has access to a fleet of 127 inland waterway vessels with a total capacity of about 370,000 tonnes. “The large variety of ship sizes and equipment enables us to reach virtually every destination in the Western European coastal area up to the sources of the European rivers,” says Van den Ouden.
TERMINALS AND LOGISTICS SERVICES
In addition to its primary products and services including bunkering, terminal, supply & trading and wholesale, Argos offers a range of support services that can be deployed separately or in combination with other products or services.
Relying on a market-oriented approach for decades, the company strives to play a leading role in the ever changing energy market in Western Europe, catering for increased environmental awareness and growing demand, while also investing into alternative energy sources.
“These could also include activities that at first sight do not fit within our current portfolio, our investments in biofuels and LNG demonstrate this,” Van den Ouden adds.
Argos has access to an intricate and competitive network of depots across the Benelux countries, Germany, France and Switzerland. The company manages the storage and distribution of mineral oils and biofuels for its own activities, but also provides logistics services to others, such as oil companies and independent oil traders.
“The services we offer cover the entire downstream oil value chain from purchase, storage and transport to throughput (own and third party), tank rental, blending and bio-blending,” says Van den Ouden.
COMPREHENSIVE QUALITY MANAGEMENT
Above all else, Argos wants to offer its employees, customers and contractors a safe workplace. Via stringent internal and external regulation, the company works closely together with the authorities and the oil industry to develop new safety initiatives and ensure the development of staff by keeping employees informed of the latest safety standards through regular training.
“It is our policy to do business in a way that takes into account not only economic aspects, but also the environment and the safety of all concerned. The company strives to prevent incidents with environmental consequences and to work in a way that is not harmful,” comments Van den Ouden.
Furthermore, the entire Argos terminal network is ISO 9001 certified. This quality management system ensures that customers get a consistently reliable, safe and high-quality fuel product.
“The Argos safety management system is integrated into the quality management system. This enables Argos to guarantee all its employees and contractors a well-structured and safe work environment.
“In line with this, our new combined gas oil and LNG bunker vessel, being made in cooperation with national and international authorities, has set high standards to ensure safe operation of the vessel,” concludes Van den Ouden.