(EnergyAsia, March 26 2015, Thursday) — Malaysia’s Johor state has started up Southeast Asia’s first commercial crude oil storage terminal with the receipt of one million barrels of Middle Eastern crude from a supertanker last week.

MT Mesdar, a vessel chartered by France’s Total, docked at the Pengerang deepwater terminal jointly owned by Dutch oil and chemical logistics firm Malaysian engineering Dialog Group (46%), Royal Vopak (44%) and the Johor state government (10%).

Pengerang Independent Terminals Sdn Bhd (PITSB) started up last April when it received its first shipment of oil products. It expects to take in a total of 200 vessels by the end of this year.

Costing RM2 billion, the project’s first phase tanks, supported by six deepwater berths, has the capacity to store, blend and handle 1.3 million cubic metres of crude, petroleum, chemical and petrochemical products. The terminal has the capacity to store 420,000 cubic metres (about 2.6 million barrels) of crude oil.

Pengerang’s development into a regional hub for storing and distributing crude, oil products, liquefied natural gas and petrochemicals could stretch over two decades.

“With Asia being a growing demand area for crude and crude travelling longer distances, we are glad to see our crude storage facility and VLCC berth at Pengerang is of value to our customers,” said Patrick van der Voort, Vopak Asia’s President.