LBC Tank Terminals – Staying Liquid
We learn how LBC draws from a diverse talent pool to ensure its position as a top-tier bulk liquid storage company.
LBC Tank Terminals is a top-tier global independent operator of bulk liquid storage facilities for chemicals, petroleum, and base oils. The firm owns and operates a global network of seven state-of-the-art, flexible storage terminals at strategic locations across the United States and Europe, offering loading and unloading services for transportation modes including pipelines, vessels, barges, rail tank cars and trucks from terminals connected to vital chemical process plants via pipeline infrastructure networks.
“We form an integral part of our customers’ supply chains,” says Frank Erkelens, LBC Tank Terminals’ CEO. “We store and handle products that meet essential consumer needs of everyday life. These products make their way into the healthcare and personal care sectors, construction and housing, the food industry, and other essential markets.”
The company safeguards its long-term relevance by offering integrated services which respond to its stakeholders’ expectations and anticipates evolving environmental, social, and governmental requirements.
“We invest in a digital, efficient, and sustainable future, serving markets and customers with storage solutions that contribute to a better tomorrow,” Erkelens tells us.
At the core of LBC Tank Terminals’ offering is the goal of being the most sustainable chemical storage company on the market. This goes far beyond guidelines and procedures.
“It is about creating awareness on these topics and engaging more and more people inside and outside of LBC to participate in sustainability improvement initiatives and to take ownership in them,” Erkelens explains.
This focus on sustainability is part of a long-term outlook to create a meaningful future for LBC and its stakeholders by anticipating global trends and developments, staying agile, and being open to change. It is a group effort supported by the entire company’s leadership and ownership.
“Our strategy and objectives are highly supported by our shareholders,” Erkelens says. “They have strongly contributed to the growth of LBC and empower us to make long-term decisions and investments aligned with our strategy.”
LBC Tank Terminals needs every bit of that agility to take on the challenges facing the sector right now. The firm’s focus on sustainability is a recognition of the fact that climate change is the defining issue of our time.
“The energy transition is aimed to develop and use alternative energy sources for hydrocarbons to reduce our CO2 footprint and the environmental impact that we all have,” Erkelens points out. “We are part of our customers’ supply chains, and we are part of their CO2 footprint. Greater energy security and sustainability is now a priority combination.”
The energy transition is not the only big change hitting LBC’s sector, however.
As Erkelens puts it, “Digitization is gaining importance, matching the operating systems in the supply chain integration between tank storage companies and their customers. The same technology that we are all used to when we order something online, has reached our professional lives.
Customers expect real-time data on their products and orders and expect us to be integrated with other supply chain parties.”
Erkelens’ strategy is focused on growing LBC by being the connected partner, offering superior service and sustainable storage solutions to its customers.
“We continuously optimize our core business and current operations so that we remain best in class in service, safety and sustainability, and efficiency, and that we retain and grow with our customers,” Erkelens tells us. “LBC already has a firm ambition and an implementation plan to become CO2 neutral by 2030 on scope one and scope two emissions. Additionally, LBC is looking to go beyond its own net-zero target by actively contributing to its customers becoming net-zero supported by LBC’s infrastructure.”
As well as the energy transition, LBC Tank Terminals has also seen the reverberations of the energy crisis brought on by global political events.
“We have contingency plans in place for unpredictable factors such as the gas supply,” Erkelens says. “’We anticipate’ is one of our company values, and by, for instance, studying the impact on product flows, we aim to do just that.”
The Greatest Asset
In making those plans a reality, LBC Tank Terminals has a powerful resource on its side.
“Our team is our greatest asset. The diversity of our organization provides us with different perspectives and better decision-making. We are all LBC,” Erkelens insists. “The quality, leadership and commitment of our team are something we are very proud of. Our employees each have an extensive skillset, and, thanks to our open company culture, they are empowered to contribute to realising our vision.”
LBC Tank Terminals’ strategy is built around connected partnerships, supported by a dedicated LBC team that makes a real impact. But at every step of the way, the firm takes care of the people that make that strategy possible.
“We consider diversity an asset and believe that all employees have a right to be treated with dignity and respect and to work in a non-threatening environment,” says Erkelens. “We trust that our goals can only be reached by fostering a work environment where everyone feels inspired and confident to collaborate in a transparent, respectful, and inclusive way. We empower each other to make responsible decisions and to take ownership of our actions.”
With a flat organisational structure and an open culture, Erkelens’s door is always open to his team.
As he says, “If you have a good idea, you can make it happen.”
And Erkelens should know- he has plenty of ideas for the future of LBC.
“We aim to grow within and beyond the footprint of our terminals on the USGC and in North-western Europe focused on chemicals and products related to the energy transition, such as liquid organic hydrogen carriers, ammonia, methanol, and renewables,” he says. “On the one hand, we will focus on growth at our existing locations in key hub markets and our customers’ supply chains. On the other hand, we aim to expand our global footprint in new locations and offer storage solutions in growing markets. We see that our customers are changing their products and supply chains to meet the Paris Climate Agreement’s objectives and we believe that, with our investments in sustainable liquid bulk infrastructure, we can help them achieve these objectives.”
LBC will continue to optimize its performance through operational excellence, focussing on sustainability and efficiency to provide customers with sustainable, reliable, and efficient tank storage infrastructure and services.
“We continue to play an active role in the energy transition and keep a close eye on the future developments and the potential role we can play in transforming the energy landscape towards more sustainable alternatives,” Erkelens says.
LBC provides vital infrastructure to store and handle liquids that are used to create products that have a positive impact on people’s lives. By designing, building, operating and continuously improving this infrastructure against the highest standards and by implementing the latest technologies, the firm will continue to improve its operations, minimize its environmental impact, and ensure the safety of the people at LBC’s terminals and neighbouring communities.
As Erkelens concludes, “In short, we work hard on our progress and continue to explore opportunities to improve.”