RIGA - A Latvian crude oil and petroleum shipping company is set to become the only company in the Baltics to produce a special fuel blend comprising of motor gasoline and liquid butane.
SIA Ventspils nafta terminals (VNT) plans to invest some one million euros to develop the new product which is in high demand in world markets including the U.S.
Public relations manager Gundega Varpa said the project could improve the competitiveness not only of Ventspils Port, but the entire Latvian transit corridor, and help increase the flow of transit cargo via Latvia.
Once fully operational the company could potentially blend up to 60,000 tons of butane per year.
The fuel blend is made using a special method that involves drawing gasoline and butane and blending the streams together.
The process can be controlled to ensure that the vapor pressure of the blended gasoline meets the requirements of environmental regulations.
The fuel blend is typically used as high performance gasoline in motor vehicles and combustible engines.
As part of the plan VNT will need to make significant infrastructure upgrades.
"In order to provide the planned new service, the terminal needs to build special blending equipment. If all required authorizations are obtained, the maximum amount of butane to be added to gasoline could reach 60,000 tons per year," VNT said in a statement.
The new equipment is needed to fully comply with latest European norms in safety and environment standards.
Varpa said the company's latest plan was part of a number of ongoing projects aimed at improving infrastructure and ensuring the company's effective operation in coming years.
Varpa said the company would continue to strengthen its position as a growing crude oil and petroleum transshipment complex in the Baltic region and modernize its facility according to its long-term development strategy.
The company also has plans to construct a pipeline corridor stretching from the company's territory to the jetties located throughout the port, where tanker loading is carried out.
Planned investments in this project are estimated at about 3.7 million lats.
VNT provides storage, transshipment and transit services including acceptance of crude oil and gas oil through pipelines, as well as acceptance of motor gasoline and other petroleum product cargos via rail and sea.
VNT is a subsidiary of Ventspils Nafta holding company, which holds a 51 percent share.
Euromin Holdings Limited, of the international corporation Vitol Group, holds a 49 percent stake.
VNT is the largest company of such kind in the region, capacity of its tank farm reaches 1.2 million cubic meters.