Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc., a global marine fuel logistics company, announced Monday the launch of a new service center in Savannah, home to the fourth-largest and fastest-growing container port in the country.
Under the terms of the agreement with Colonial Terminals, Inc., Aegean (NYSE: ANW) will lease tankage from Colonial’s oil terminal on the Savannah River.
Aegean will acquire and blend a full range of bunker fuel products and has agreed to supply Colonial Oil Industries, Inc. with a range of No. 6 oil products for Colonial’s truck delivery business.
Bunker is simply the name given to fuel that operates ships. The term originated in an era when ships ran on steam produced by coal. The onboard storage bins for the coal were called bunkers, a name that has endured long beyond steam-powered ships.
Colonial sold its bunker supply business — one of many diverse energy and port-related aspects of the company — to Chemoil Energy Limited in 2013. At the time, the bunker operation focused on the ports of Savannah, Charleston and Jacksonville.
When Chemoil’s contract expired, the decision was made to move its operations upriver to the former NuStar Asphalt Refinery terminal, now Epic Midstream LLC’s Savannah North Terminal.
Rob Demere, President and CEO of Colonial Group, said his company felt Aegean’s philosophy was a good fit.
We enjoyed our relationship with Chemoil and we’re looking forward to working with Aegean,” he said.
“They’re a great company and we feel very confident doing business with them,” he said, adding that he expects Aegean’s presence on the river will make Savannah more competitive.
Aegean’s Savannah operations will be managed by the company’s existing U.S. team. Aegean has contracted with the Vane Brothers Company to provide barge services in the port.
Manolis Chochlakis, Aegean’s regional manager of the Americas, said the move strengthens his company’s presence on the U.S. East Coast.
“Our core customer base will get a price-competitive offering in a critical container market that has been underserved since Colonial’s exit from the business in 2013,” he said, adding that Aegean’s expansion into the U.S. Southeast will enhance the flexibility and reach of the company’s supply network, enabling it to better serve its customers.
Chochlakis said the Greek company was especially pleased to work with Savannah-based Colonial Group.
“They are an experienced group that knows how to store, blend and distribute marine fuels. We are excited to partner with them to bring Savannah back to prominence as a marine fuel market.”
The lease and supply agreement takes effect July 1.
Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. is an international marine fuel logistics company that markets and physically supplies refined marine fuel and lubricants to ships in port and at sea. The company procures product from various sources (such as refineries, oil producers, and traders) and resells it to a diverse group of customers across all major commercial shipping sectors and leading cruise lines. For more information on the company, go to: www.ampni.com .
A third-generation family company founded in 1921 and based in Savannah, Colonial Group Inc. ranks No. 146 on Forbes List of America’s Largest Private Companies with more than 900 employees and annual sales revenue of $3 billion. Its history is rooted in the marketing, retailing and distribution of petroleum products for transportation, industrial and marine applications. Colonial Group also operates Enmark gas stations and EnMarket convenience stores.