The company will now have 600,000 barrels available at its facility in Guaynabo. “The interest for this project is for [Total] to have more storage to be more resilient in case of experiencing another weather event. We all know that having large-capacity storage is necessary in case of an emergency. Today we have twice as much as we had when Hurricane Maria struck,” said the general manager of Total Petroleum Puerto Rico, Pierre-Emmanuel Bredin.

“This expansion makes us more competitive because up to today we had to have the tanks almost empty to receive a new ship with fuel because it arrived just in time and sometimes caused the ships to stay out at sea so while the tanks were emptied in the terminal to make room. That involved an operational cost, but that will disappear now and we will have a better operation,” Bredin explained.

As part of the investment, an amount was allocated to address the environmental factor with a new water system as well as safety, including new levels to address issues such as fire extinction. Both matters represent about 40% of the overall cost of the project.

An innovation in the connection design of the two new tanks allows any overflow to move to the second tank. This feature reduced the need to build an outer cover of greater containment, a breakthrough for future company projects of a similar nature.

The project was initially tendered and won by the local contractor Lord Construction, which began its work in January 2017. The construction had been scheduled to be completed and put into operation in March this year. Around 130 people worked on the project, with some 200 workers on the construction site.

“This important investment in the last two years signals Total’s commitment to Puerto Rico. It allows Total, as an important player in responsible energy, to strengthen our roots in the Puerto Rican market. It also represents a clear demonstration of our commitment to deliver our products and services to our customers every step of the way,” said Momar Nguer, president of Total Marketing & Services, a division of Total Group with 31,000 employees in 109 countries.

“The expansion of the terminal in Guaynabo serves to highlight the ability of [Total Puerto Rico] to execute an industrial project, and we are proud to have completed the project on time, within budget and, most importantly, without accidents,” Bredin said.

Meanwhile, the executive said, Total is also investing $20 million to remodel and renovate its service stations, nearly 90% of which were affected by Hurricane Maria. The work includes remodeling stations roofs as well as the labeling that includes the identification of fuel prices for sale