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six of these! We need to ship all this, so the port is a key link in the chain. We decided that rather than chartering, we could be the largest ship owner on the LNG side, so the government created Qatar Gas Transport Company, known as Nakilat [' carrier'] which owns and operates the LNG vessels. Why not have the dry dock too? We have a captive trade and it is all part of our strategic chain." The dry dock is being built on reclaimed land by Qatar Petroleum at a total cost of $ 450 million, and will be used by a joint venture of the Singapore marine construction specialist Keppel with Nakilat. Spread over 43 hectares, it contains two large dry docks and one Panamax- size floating dock. It will provide facilities to repair and maintain the fast- growing Nakilat LNG fleet and all other types of vessels. A further part of the reclaimed site is devoted to shipbuilding, this time with Nakilat in partnership with Dutch shipbuilder Damen. " We won't build very large ships here; but we'll build anything up to 120 metres long, including yachts, tugs, offshore supply vessels, coastal Ras Laffan Port April 10 www. bus- ex. com 61 tankers or naval vessels," he says. The shipbuilding yard will be in production by the end of the first half of 2010. Development on this scale is bound to affect both land and sea, but the port was able to address environmental issues from the planning stage. Best practices include common water cooling systems that ensure the water returned to the sea from the plants is clean and at the right temperature. A percentage of investment has been earmarked for environmental studies and remediation, and it is encouraging to find, for example, that turtles breeding close to the port are increasing in number. " They are better protected now than they ever were before," says Capt. Saad. Environmental Protection was one of three Seatrade awards won by RLC in 2009, the others being Best Port Authority and Best Strategy for Oil & Gas. No organisation had ever bagged three awards in the same year before. The port was also awarded by Lloyd's List the Best Port Infrastructure Award for 2009. - Editorial research by Richard Halfhide

A new storage terminal at the Port of Amsterdam, being built by Dutch storage facilities provider Royal Vopak, will greatly increase capacity and service to the surrounding region. Project director Hans Dilweg tells Ruari McCallion about the company's state-of-the art facilityFor almost 400 years, the companies that now form Royal Vopak have been providing storage and warehousing in the Netherlands. It started in 1616, when groups of weighing-house porters allied to offer services such as weighing, sorting and storage for tea, spices and other commodities brought to the country by the Dutch East India Company. They required special storage conditions and care, as do oil and gas, though in a different way. The first barrels of oil arrived in 1862 and the company built the first dedicated oil storage facility in Europe, in the port of Rotterdam. By this time conditioned storage and 62 www.bus-ex.com April 10Terminal velocity