Bulk Distributor Mar/Apr 16 - Page 9

March/April 2016 Tank Containers BULKDISTRIBUTOR 9 Bertschi tanks up in the Lion city S wiss chemical logistics firm Bertschi officially recently opened its new facility in Singapore – the group’s first in South-East Asia. Situated in the heart of South-East Asia’s largest chemical hub, Bertschi’s S$45 million (€29.1 million) investment is strategically positioned to offer its chemical logistics, processing services and lean supply chain solutions to the specialty chemical producers along the ‘ethylene oxide corridor’ on Jurong Island. “The shifting focus to specialty chemicals is not just confined to Europe, as our latest investment illustrates,” said Hans-Jörg Bertschi, president and CEO of Bertschi Holding AG, at the opening of the facility. “This is a revolutionary step for the chemical industry. “While better known for its refineries and petrochemical complexes, Jurong Island has in recent years welcomed more manufacturing activities in specialty chemicals. Such manufacturing requires specialised logistics capabilities, and the addition of Bertschi is an example of how we continually ensure Jurong Island remains competitive. As such, companies here can continue to find Singapore an ideal location to grow their business,” commented Damian Chan, executive director of energy and chemicals in the Singapore Economic Development Board. Occupying 30,000 sqm of land, the Bertschi Jurong Island Chemical Cluster (JICC) is its most advanced in Asia for the handling and storage of specialty & hazardous chemicals. Key services include dangerous goods (DG) bulk transport and handling, DG chemicals storage, ISO tank container storage & heating, blending & drumming, and repackaging. These make the Bertschi JICC a one-stop‐shop on Jurong Island, integrating non- and DG ISO tank storage, Bertschi’s global tank container operations, and a wide range of value-added services. The group says the location ensures that hazardous chemicals are kept on Jurong and minimises traffic going on and off the island. “Instead of putting their specialty chemical products into fixed liquid storage tanks at the plant site, producing companies can now fill their final products directly from the production reactor into our ISO tanks. The products are then stored in tank containers at our chemical cluster,” added Bertschi. “By doing so, the producer reduces capex for his newly built specialty chemicals plant typically by 10-15 percent, and land use by up to 50 percent. Producers may streamline existing plants with very little investment, as internal logistics is often the bottleneck to production run optimisations. The same principle applies for import/export flows from overseas,” the CEO continued. “Instead of going through bulk liquid storage tanks, we import ISO tanks directly into our depot, and store them there. ISO tanks are the new bulk liquid storage for specialty chemicals and the raw materials used in chemicals plants.” According to Bertschi, one of the elements supporting this transformation – besides the globalisation of the chemical industry and the focus on reducing capital expenditure – is the paradigm shifts in sea freight. In the past eight years, container vessels have increased their size from 8,000 to 20,000 TEU per ship and introduced slow steaming, leading to very significant cost cutting. As a result, it has become more costefficient for specialty chemical products, as well as their raw materials supply, to move in intermodal tank containers rather than parcel tankers. Chemical producers can focus on their core business, while Bertschi provides the logistical infrastructure and capacity to handle the non- and hazardous chemicals. “New plants on Jurong Island are able to maximise their processes with optimum efficiency,” said Bertschi. “They will require less capital expenditure as they can now outsource their processes to us. This plus increased customer profit margins through integrated logistics, outsourcing and supporting logistics project management, will enhance Jurong Island’s investment location attractiveness. Thus, you could consider the Bertschi JICC to be an additional link in Jurong Island’s value chain.” In keeping with the group’s commitment to quality and safety, Bertschi’s operations are certified in line with international safety, quality and environmental standards. Built to surpass the highest industry standards, operations at the JICC are semi‐automated and incorporate safety features like firewalls, chemical spillage retention basins, and remote‐controlled foam jets. At the opening ceremony, Bertschi also announced that phase two expansion was already underway: “To meet the growing needs of our customers, Bertschi will invest in a second state-ofthe‐art dangerous goods warehouse which will be completed in the second half of 2017. With an additional investment of more than S$20 million (€12.9 million), this will boost Bertschi’s total investment to more S$65 million (€42 million).” Guest of honour at the inauguration was Swiss Ambassador to Singapore Thomas Kupfer. He commented that as the latest Swiss global logistics company to enter the ASEAN market, “Bertschi is committed to ensuring Swiss quality and consistent safety throughout its value chain. Its strategic investment here in Singapore aims to leverage on the country’s connectivity across the region and first-class infrastructure.” Bertschi already has a presence in Asia and