New Acid Terminal Opens at Port of Stockton

A new acid tank terminal at the Port of Stockton in California has set the stage for business growth for Sumitomo in the sulfuric acid supply industry, the result of a two-year construction project. Sumitomo has participated in the acid trading business through its group companies, SATCO (Sulfuric Acid Trading Company, Inc.) in the U.S., and Interacid Trading Chile, the new terminal will support SATCO’s business operations, equipped with a 30,000-ton sulfuric acid tank, diluting facilities and freight car/truck shipping facilities.

In California, the largest agricultural zone in the U.S., sulfuric acid is widely used to improve farmland soil. Faced with chronic water shortages recently, the state has been steadily introducing drip irrigation methods that allow for highly efficient water distribution, with sulfuric acid used to adjust water quality to make it suitable for drip irrigation. By utilizing the terminal to ensure a steady supply of sulfuric acid and help farmers make efficient use of water, Sumitomo Corporation hopes to contribute to community and industrial development, as well as to expand sales of sulfuric acid for use in mining, water treatment, and fertilizer manufacturing.

The Port of Stockton serves as a key import/export port on the West Coast, located about 100km east of San Francisco Bay, and handles four million tons of cargo per year, primarily fertilizer, grain, cement, steel materials, and coal. Expecting West Coast demand for sulfuric acid to increase in future, particularly for agricultural, mining and industrial use, the Port of Stockton can now offer prime access for Sumitomo’s present and future customers.  This facility is also the only sulfuric acid receiving terminal on the West Coast, and Sumitomo Corporation looks to sell more than 200,000 tons of sulfuric acid per year to West Coast customers through SATCO, also serving as the terminal operators.

“This new facility will surely meet the growing demands of the region’s industries, and contribute to the surrounding communities,” SCOA President & CEO & GM for the Americas Mark Nakajima stated at the opening ceremonies. 

“Our sulfuric acid handling volume is one of the largest in the world,” Nakajima said. “Utilizing this existing network, customer relationship, and business experience, I believe we will be able to add more products and services to our current activities, and provide more value to our customers and society as a whole. I am sure that the SATCO Stockton Port will be another successful example of Sumitomo’s integrated corporate strength.”  

Above, SCOA President and CEO and GM for the Americas Mark Nakajima speaks at the opening ceremony.

Above, from left to right, Akihiro Sasano, Director, Basic Chemicals & Electronics Group; Tomonori Uemura, GM of Chemical Products, PPC; Takuya Tsujigaki, GM, Basic Chemicals & Electronics Group; Satoshi Arai, Executive Officer, PPC; Mark Nakajima, SCOA President and CEO and GM for the Americas; Naruyuki Ando, Corporate Officer, GM, Basic Chemicals & Electronics Div., SC; Shonka Brent, General Manager, SATCO; Takashi Tanaka, GM, Inorganic Chemicals Dept., SC; Masaya Sato, Unit Head, Basic
Chemicals & Electronics Group 

Sulfuric Acid

Sulfuric acid is a colorless, odorless acidic liquid primarily produced by sulfur burning and non-ferrous metal smelting processes. With an annual global production volume of about 240 million tons, this acid serves as the world’s most widely produced and distributed basic chemical product. Its principal applications include the production of phosphate fertilizers, water treatment agents and titanium oxide as well as non-ferrous leaching.