October 1990

Construction of the New Oiltanking Malta Tank Terminal

The contractual conditions for the construction of Oiltanking Malta’s new tank terminal in Marsaxlokk have been fulfilled. The Malta Freeport Corporation owns a 30% stake in the project. The decision to go ahead with the project has also been made, so construction can likely begin in December.

For Marquard & Bahls, the island of Malta is an extremely attractive location for the following reasons: It has an ideal location in the centre of the Mediterranean and can serve both as a "breaking bulk terminal" and a "making bulk terminal." Keeping in mind that larger ships have to be used for longer distances to keep the freight-per-ton cost affordable, small loads are gathered at a terminal like Malta until a large volume of petroleum is available, which can then be shipped overseas in a large vessel. This procedure is known as "making bulk" – as opposed to "breaking bulk," which involves storing a large cargo in Malta and from there breaking it up into smaller volumes, to be shipped to smaller consumers or ports across the Mediterranean. Because of the frequently differing prices between Europe and the USA, a lively "making bulk" business with cargo bound for the U.S. can be expected on Malta.

There are also many other arguments in favor of having a site in Malta, such as its tradition of legal security, the fact that English is the official language, and the attractive borrowing terms for loans. It is hoped that nothing more now stands in the way of the tank terminal on Malta.