Trafigura Unit Plans Newcastle Terminal in Australian Expansion

Puma Energy Holdings Pte is planning to build a fuel-import terminal at Newcastle as the unit of commodities trader Trafigura Beheer BV expands its supply network on Australia’s east coast.

A project team will move to Newcastle in New South Wales early next year to work on developing the terminal, Ray Taylor, Puma’s general manager for Australia, said today in an interview today. Construction may take as long as 18 months, Taylor said from Mackay, Queensland, where the company has completed a A$70 million ($65 million) fuel-import facility.

Trafigura and Vitol Group, the world’s biggest independent oil trader, are seeking to develop fuel-storage facilities and retail businesses in Australia as companies such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc close refineries, increasing the nation’s reliance on imported petroleum products. Puma is also upgrading a terminal at the Port of Townsville in Queensland, which is projected to be completed in the first quarter of 2015, Taylor said.

“What we’re looking for is a network of terminals,” said Taylor, who previously worked at BP Plc. “We’re looking at a complete, integrated supply chain so we can bring in the larger ships and discharge at various ports,” he said, adding that the Newcastle terminal would mainly focus on the mining sector.

Puma Energy, formed in 1997, has expanded to include a retail network of more than 1,600 filling stations globally. It has operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia, according to an e-mailed statement.

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