Started from scratch in 2006 as an alternative solution for traders seeking energy storage, VTTI has grown to become a leading player in its field. The business is largely owned by the Vitol Group—one of the largest independent energy traders in the world. It is present in 11 countries across the globe and provides active solutions in key energy locations such as Seaport Canaveral in the United States and the bunkering centre of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates.

Rob Nijst oversees all of VTTI’s operations as CEO. He has been with the company since the very beginning, after having served for two years as president of the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region for Vopak, an organisation which supplies logistics and distribution services to the chemical and oil industries.

“I was very comfortable in my role there,” Rob recalls. “I was responsible for all of the oil terminals on behalf of Vopak in EMEA when I was approached by VTTI, which was a start-up by one of the biggest physical oil traders in the world, The Vitol Group. It was setting up a network of energy terminals globally and I saw that as a great opportunity to be part of that enterprise. I thought that I could either stay at Vopak and continue being comfortable or I could move into an exciting role which was something completely new and had lots of growth opportunities. So, I was the first employee when VTTI began in 2006.”

Rob says the energy storage industry is typically perceived as being conservative, consisting of companies which have been in the game for many years. VTTI was created to provide something different, to shake up the capital-intensive sector, and to change the culture surrounding it. “We very much have a people focus,” Rob explains. “A lot of people talk about having a people focus but it is not necessarily ingrained into all of the actions and the behaviour of the company. The VTTI culture is very important to us and therefore a lot of emphasis is placed on the further development and training of our staff.