Alkion Terminals, part of Koole Terminals Group, is committed to growing its expertise and expanding the services they offer their customers. As part of this, Alkion Terminal Lisbon, Portugal, has welcomed bitumen as a new product in their portfolio.
‘We began offering bitumen storage services in April of this year, after one of our customers expressed interest in storing bitumen with us,’ says terminal manager Diogo Godinho. Bitumen is an essential material for road construction, repairs and civil works. The bitumen that is being stored at Alkion Terminal Lisbon will be used across Portugal.
‘Bitumen must be stored at a high temperature, otherwise it will turn solid inside of the tank. We keep the bitumen at a temperature of more or less 160 degrees,’ Godinho continues. That means that bitumen storage requires specific infrastructure: ‘We invested in a new loading bay, thermal insulation of the tanks, heating equipment and new reception and expedition lines among other things.’
Robust safety measures have been put into place to store the new product. Any contact needs to avoided – especially with water. The heat would cause the water to turn into steam, which adds dangerous pressure inside of the tank. ‘Because the product must be kept at such a high temperature, the operators that are loading the trucks are fully equipped with special protective gear. We’re proud to say we’ve had zero safety incidents with our bitumen storage ever since we began in April,’ says Godhino.
Alkion Terminal Lisbon is already looking into making its new bitumen storage location more sustainable. ‘We generate energy with solar panels at the terminal. We are currently looking into the option of powering our bitumen heaters, which currently run on propane, with electricity, meaning we could run them with the energy we generate ourselves. This would lower our CO2 emissions as well as being more cost effective, which adds value for our customers,’ says Godhino.
Godinho concludes: ‘We’re very enthusiastic about bitumen becoming part of our portfolio, as a new product offers new ways of working and new developments. We always welcome new products and new challenges with open arms.’