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    Singapore, Netherlands, Belgium, Malta

    Transport & logistics


    Oystercatcher is the holding company through which the Company holds 45% interests in five subsidiaries of Oiltanking, located in Belgium, Malta, the Netherlands and Singapore.

    These businesses provide over five million cubic metres of oil, petroleum and other oil-related storage facilities and associated services to a broad range of clients, including private and state oil companies, refiners, petrochemical companies and traders.

    Oiltanking is one of the world’s leading independent storage partners for oils, chemicals and gases, operating 73 terminals in 22 countries with a total storage capacity of 19 million cubic metres.

    Follow-on investments

    On 2 May 2017, Oiltanking Ghent acquired 100% of Belgotank NV, a company which owns 82,000 cubic metres of tank capacity located on the Oiltanking Ghent site. These provide a mix of small tanks which are complementary to the business’s existing tank portfolio. On 25 September 2017, Oystercatcher made a follow-on equity investment of €2.4 million  into Oiltanking Ghent to part fund that acquisition. 

    Developments in the year

    Over recent years the oil storage market has faced two challenges: an extended period of backwardation in the oil product markets, alongside uncertainty around product demand in the lead up to the introduction of the new IMO 2020 regulation, which regulates the sulphur content of fuel used for shipping. Across the sector, terminals have seen less demand for storage in certain locations, as well as downward pressure on storage pricing.

    Since its introduction on 1 January 2020, IMO 2020 has created opportunities for oil storage terminals – with storage being required for a wider range of product specifications. Since March 2020, the oil products market has been in contango, caused by a sudden drop in global demand for oil products and the resulting drop in oil prices. This provides a helpful backdrop to oil storage terminals, as contango creates the incentive to store and leads to greater demand and therefore upward pressure on storage pricing.

    The Oystercatcher portfolio features strong locations and high quality facilities and service levels which are highly valued by customers. This is particularly the case in Singapore, which represents over half of the value of our investment, and where we expect the terminal to benefit from growing petroleum product consumption in Asia over the long term.

    Investment rationale

    The investment in the Amsterdam, Malta and Singapore terminals was completed in August 2007, while the investment in the Ghent (Belgium) and Terneuzen (Netherlands) terminals was completed in June 2015.

    The key elements of the investment case for the terminals are:

    • There is strong projected demand for oil and oil-related products;
    • Storage capacity remains scarce and is a key component of the oil and oil product supply chain, resulting in high occupancy;
    • The businesses provide essential services and the terminals benefit from facilities and operational capabilities that make them attractive to existing and potential clients;
    • The Singapore and Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp region terminals are defensively located in key trading hubs and continue to benefit from high utilisation levels;
    • Contracts are let on a use-or-pay basis with fixed terms of up to 10 years, often with tariffs linked to local inflation rates, resulting in reliable cash flows; and

    The transactions allowed 3i Infrastructure to partner with a leading player in the oil storage market, with a strong operational reputation.

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