Tank storage companies are essential players in our energy, transport, manufacturing, agricultural and food industries. The tank storage sector supports a complex international network of actors, from domestic industry players to residential users and international traders. In Europe, the Federation of European Tank Storage Association (FETSA) represents the sector. Tank storage companies fulfill four broader tasks in the European economy:
- (1) they facilitate logistics for domestic consumption, providing heat and fuels to European citizens’ homes, offices, and cars; as well as to our ports, airports and defense sector
- (2) they support European industry, which is kept alive by efficient and integrated clusters of import terminals, storage facilities, oil refineries and (petro)chemical factories
- (3) they strengthen Europe’s international price-setting and trading hub status of crude oil, oil products, chemicals and vegetable oils
- and (4) they safeguard emergency and military stocks.
From an economic perspective, constant flows of fuels and chemicals keep European industry alive. Thousands of manufacturing companies depend on oil products and natural gas for their industrial processes. The chemical, health, steel, construction, agricultural and automotive sectors are only some of the constituents of Europe’s industrial clusters.
Vast storage capacity is also a strategic asset for Europe. The availability of reliable and cost-effective infrastructure supports the competitive position of European industries. A strong and (partly) self-sufficient domestic industry also strengthens Europe’s strategic autonomy.
This paper belongs to a series of four reports regarding the evolving role of tank storage in Europe. The first paper sets the scene by discussing the European tank storage sector in the global energy landscape. This paper is the second of the series, outlining the current role of the tank storage sector in maintaining Europe’s prosperity, competitiveness, and geopolitical position. The third paper will analyze the mid-term outlook (2030-2035) for tank storage, in light of European energy and strategic ambitions. The fourth one will look ahead to 2050-2060 and map out the newly emerging role of the storage sector.