(EnergyAsia, February 24 2015, Tuesday) — UK’s Amec Foster Wheeler has started work on the front-end engineering design of the Ras Markaz crude oil storage tank farm in Oman following the contract’s award by state-owned Oman Tank Terminal Company (OTTCO) last month.

The London-based firm declined to reveal the contract’s value for the project which will start up with a 25-million barrel storage capacity by end-2018 that will add to Oman’s only crude export terminal at Mina al Fahal in Muscat.

Located 70 km south of the Port of Duqum on the Wusta Coast, Ras Markaz’s deepwater terminal will be developed in phases to store up to 200 million barrels of crude oil. The tank farm will boost Oman’s role as a Middle East trading and storage hub for oil companies seeking an alternative to the Strait of Hormuz and Arabian Gulf.

Launched last year through the merger of two UK engineering companies, Amec Foster Wheeler designs, delivers and maintains oil, gas, power, mining, clean energy, pharmaceutical, environment and infrastructure projects.

OTTCO is a joint venture owned by state energy investment vehicle Oman Oil Company (90%) and its downstream investment subsidiary Takamul Investment Company SAOC (10%).