Aegean Expansion Plans in Morocco
Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. (NYSE:ANW) announced that Horizon Tangiers Terminal S.A. (HTTSA), a special purpose consortium, has named Aegean as the exclusive bunkering company for the new port in Tangiers, Morocco. The agreement is scheduled to become effective in January 2009 upon completion of final documentation.
The appointment of Aegean by HTTSA is a part of the consortium's effort to expand the modern port in this growing region. Currently, the port serves approximately 7,000 vessels on an annual basis and is expected to increase to more than 10,000 vessels annually in 2010. Aegean will provide retail bunkering services to ships in port on an exclusive basis for a period of 25 to 35 years. Aegean will also have the right to expand its operation beyond the port perimeter, which is strategically located along the Strait of Gibraltar connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.
E. Nikolas Tavlarios, President, commented, "We are excited to have been appointed by HTTSA to serve as the exclusive, long-term bunkering company in the port of Tangiers upon conclusion of a competitive selection process. By once again entering a new strategic market, Aegean will further strengthen its leading position as an independent supplier of marinefuel on a global basis. The port of Tangiers serves as an attractive gateway to the vast Mediterranean and North African regions and is well positioned for future growth. As Tangiers continues to expand into a major transportation hub serving important shipping routes, we expect to enhance our ability to meet the burgeoning demand for our bunkering services and significantly increase sales volumes."
Mr. Tavlarios added, "We expect to commence operations in the first quarter 2009 upon receiving the necessary trading, bunkering, and environmental licenses required by the local authorities. Going forward, we intend to draw upon our considerable financial strength and capitalize on additional expansion opportunities that complement our existing platform and drive long-term shareholder value."