(EnergyAsia, July 2 2013, Tuesday) — The following is an edited version of a speech by Royal Vopak chairman and CEO, Eelco Hoekstra, on the occasion of its Singapore subsidiary’s 30th anniversary celebration last week.

“In 1980, what started as an idea to predict future opportunities towards the next decade, materialised into the founding of Vopak in Singapore. The brainchild of the forward thinking Carel van den Driest – previous Chairman of Van Ommeren – Sebarok terminal, commissioned in 1983, became Vopak’s first terminal in Asia and the first third-party oil storage facility in Singapore.

Singapore’s prime location at the crossroads of Asia, its free market economy, transparency, visionary master-planning and openness to foreign investments provided the ideal foundation for a synergistic relationship between Singapore and Vopak (then Van Ommeren).

This is evident in our growth story – from one terminal to four terminals with total capacity at over three million cubic meters spread across western Singapore, in what is now one of the world’s major energy hubs. Today, we continue to seek avenues for growth, with the latest addition being the 100,000 cbm industrial storage in Banyan, which was recently commissioned.

Thirty years on, Singapore and Vopak have created a ‘pearl’ of a partnership. One solidified by the ongoing support and commitment of our customers, the Singapore government, our partners, contractors and notably, our dedicated employees.

Singapore for many of my colleagues, their families and for me has been a special experience. Personally, when appointed CEO three years ago, I left heavy heartedly – as of the places we have lived as a family, Singapore felt most like home, and is in fact considered our second home.

For Vopak, Singapore will continue to be our strong regional base – amongst our other regional hubs in Rotterdam, Houston and Fujairah – and also the “launch pad” for our expansions in Asia. We are optimistic that Vopak Terminals Singapore (VTS) will continue to serve as a model and the nucleus for our future growth in the Asia region.

With Asia being the driving engine for global growth, energy demand will continue to rise. Singapore is well positioned to capitalise on the opportunities presented by this growth in energy demand.

Vopak remains confident of the energy and chemicals sector in Singapore.

Today’s celebration would not be possible without the people who have journeyed with us over the last 30 years.

First to our partner, PSA International, and its then Deputy General Goon Kok Loon who was instrumental in making VTS a reality We appreciate your enduring support over the last 30 years and very much look forward to continuing our partner collaboration with you.

To our customers, you are the reason we are here today. Your loyalty over the past decades has not gone unnoticed. Thank you for the past 30 years, we look forward to continuing on our journey of delivering excellent service in a safe manner with you.