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StocExpo: The Best Yet!

Written by...

Anamika Talwaria

Anamika Talwaria

Editor & Head of Content for Tank Storage Magazine & StocExpo and Chair of Women in Tanks.

Find out what happened at the industry’s leading trade event: StocExpo.

On 14-16 March in Rotterdam, the Tank Storage Magazine team, along with organiser Easyfairs, held the StocExpo conference and exhibition. The leading event brought together a whole host of terminal professionals and industry experts looking to connect with each other and share exciting new innovations.

A year of firsts

With fresh branding to represent the energy transition and future fuels, this year’s StocExpo kicked off with a terminal tour of Koole Terminals’ leading Tankstorage Botlek facility in the Port of Rotterdam. Led by a representative from the port, a group of VIP delegates were shown around the port and then taken into the Koole facility. It was an exciting opportunity to learn more about how the pioneering terminal is moving towards future fuels and was hugely popular. You can read all about Koole Tankstorage Botlek in Tank Storage Magazine’s interview in the Feb/March edition.

For the first time ever, StocExpo featured two conference streams: The FETSA Tank Storage Conference and the Terminal Operations and Safety Conference. Arguably the best StocExpo ever, this edition of the event was packed with exciting, exclusive content: talks from leading terminal professionals, the debut of exciting new innovative products and an excellent opportunity for the industry to get together and network.

Job van der Kroft, director of new energies at Advario and visitor to the conference says: ‘StocExpo is a great place to see what other organisations are doing and share what we’re up to, especially in new energies. The conference has been a particular highlight.’

On top of networking drinks on the show floor and the Global Tank Storage Awards, StocExpo offered plenty of chances to network, including the delegate lounge, platinum sponsor Honeywell’s Networking Hive and the iTanks Pitchlunch, which also lent the opportunity to businesses to showcase their innovations more intimately.

Voliro, for example, exhibited and spoke about its game-changing drone. Chris Udell, head of business development, Voliro, says: ‘Our drone is unique because it can stably touch surfaces at any angle to allow for ultrasound corrosion detection. In America, we’re inundated with interest, so we’re here at StocExpo
to make that happen in Europe.’

Conference focus

Both conference streams were highly popular, with focuses on the future of the industry, digitalisation, the energy transition and maintaining safety at terminals. Attendees enjoyed talks from industry leaders, including terminal experts from Zenith Energy, Tepsa-Rubis, LBC Tank Terminals, and more.

Tank Storage Magazine’s very own editor Anamika Talwaria led the Women in Tanks panel with a focus not only on gender equality, but also finding opportunities to encourage diversity of thought within the tank storage industry. The panel, including Kathryn Clay from ILTA, Sandra de Bont from VOTOB, North Sea Port’s Sandra De Mey, Karine Huysmans at LBC Tank Terminals and Suzan de Haan from HES International. The panel made concrete suggestions for this, from ensuring both male and female caregivers are given allowances for flexible time, to speaking at schools to draw a spotlight on the tank storage industry. It is now up to companies in the industry to listen and act to remove barriers for women and other marginalised groups.

The focus on the energy transition
was evident in StocExpo’s exciting new rebrand, launched earlier this year. ‘The new branding feels fresh and different. As we move into more sustainable future fuels, the new branding design has a much more obvious nod to that future,’ says Rikki Bhachu, head of marketing for StocExpo.

And with the inclusion of not one, but two hydrogen powered cars on site, industry professionals got to see first-hand how investing in future fuels might pay off later.

Another investment encouraged during the conference sessions was into digitalisation and, by extension, cybersecurity. With a focus on different terminal automation softwares and optimising processes, it’s crucial that terminals also update their security measures to avoid a hack.

Forty Under 40

The end of day one saw an exciting opportunity to network, with drinks on the show floor and the presentation of StocExpo’s Forty Under 40. The campaign showcases the rising stars of the tank terminal industry, celebrating young and new talent as the industry embraces new ways of working.

‘It feels good to be recognised as one of StocExpo’s Forty Under 40. The industry needs more young people and more needs to be done to attract them to it, so this is a really important initiative,’ says Victoria Oppenheim, head of business development at Argent Energy.

With many senior members of staff retiring or leaving the industry altogether, it’s imperative that we find new talent to carry on the legacy of our industry, and crave out new paths as we move towards a more sustainable future. The energy transition waits for no one, and it’s crucial that we involve those younger generations who will be more affected by the impact of climate change to lead the industry towards greener ways of working.

The StocExpo 2023 Forty Under 40 recognises both those with the greatest potential to become industry leaders in the future and those who have achieved greatness already in the tank storage and future fuels industry. One of the winners Jelle Swanenberg, COO of Smartflow says: ‘This is a prize that indicates the change that’s coming.’ You can see the full list of winners online.

StocExpo Stand Awards

In the afternoon of day two, the StocExpo team handed out the Stand Awards to the stands that stood out. These stand awards were a great way to recognise the excellence of exhibitors on site.

This year’s winners are:

  • Best pre-event marketing campaign: GPI Tanks
  • Most sustainable stand: JSF Aluroofs
  • Best stand entertainment:
    Techflow Marine
  • Best newcomer: BETA Industrie
  • Best stand: Walter Tosto-Maraldi

The Stand Awards help set the tone for the evening’s main event.

Global Tank Storage Awards

Held at the Schiecentrale – a former power station – this was the perfect setting to recognise excellence in the industry. Hosted by Tank Storage Magazine, and with support from the ILTA, VOTOB, Honeywell and North Sea Port, the evening kicked off with a bang – literally – with fire dancers and light performers, Lights in Motion.

The Emerging Technology Award went to iSensPro for its iSens-SDS ATEX moisture and CUI-sensor. The judges said that this technology could well be a game changer for the maintenance of insulated tanks and that it offered lots of opportunities to save time and money.

The Environmental Performance Award went to Circor for its Houttuin Energy Recovery Control Valve. With energy costs and sustainability initiatives rising, the judges felt that this was a brilliant approach that could help lower cost and increase sustainability.

The Safety Technology Award was handed to Real Safety for its Anti-Slip, impressing the judges with its simple solution to such a major challenge. The Safety Excellence Award went to Odjfell Terminals Korea. The judges commented on how the terminal has taken safety to the next level, beyond the traditional lagging indicators, moving to embrace leading indicators.

The Terminal Optimisation Award was handed to Diamond Key International for its Omega Digitz, a solution that creates enormous agility and flexibility for the terminal operator.

The Rising Star Award was given to Guy Curtis, General Manager of EWFM, while Outstanding Achievement went to Nicholas Gohl, CFO of Aquarius Energy. Both have made a huge impact on the sector.

The Innovative Technology Award went to Nordweld for its Tank Building System, which the judges said was a very impressive product and a fantastic solution that allows for the quick and stable construction of tanks on site. ORLEN Unipetrol RPA took home Terminal Innovation.

The Port of the Future Award went to North Sea Port, for its out-of-the-box thinking and creative solutions towards carbon neutrality. Brand new for 2023, the Excellence Through Diversity Award was given to Emerson for setting up a number of initiatives to encourage inclusivity and diversity.

The final award of the evening, the Terminal of the Future Award, was given to Advario for its vision to helping customers decarbonise, as well as lowering its own emissions.

You can find the full list of bronze, silver and gold winners online.

Conclusion

Lauded the best StocExpo yet, at Tank Storage Magazine, we can only thank all of the exhibitors and attendees who made it so successful. A huge round of applause to the team at Easyfairs for their dedication, hard work and support on this event. Roll on 2024!

For more information:

StocExpo will be back in Rotterdam
on 12-14 March 2024.

www.stocexpo.com

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