(EnergyAsia, December 31 2013, Tuesday) — Royal Vopak said it will launch the seventh phase of expansion of its Fujairah, UAE storage terminal after securing a long-term contract from a customer to support its plans to build 478,000 cubic metres (cbm) of new capacity to store and handle crude oil.

As part of the expansion to be completed by the second half of 2016, subsidiary Vopak Horizon Fujairah Limited will build five crude oil tanks to raise the terminal’s total storage capacity to over 2.6 million cbm, one manifold, and a pipeline connection to a new very large crude carrier (VLCC) jetty in the Port of Fujairah.

The Dutch oil and chemicals logistics giant said the new tanks will be the first in the Middle East to offer independent storage services for crude oil, contributing to Fujairah’s role as a global hub for crude oil and oil products.

Vopak Horizon Fujairah Ltd is a joint venture between Royal Vopak (33.3%), Horizon Terminals Ltd (33.3%), the Fujairah government (22.2%) and Kuwait’s Independent Petroleum Group (11.1%). Horizon Terminals Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dubai’s state Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC).

Vopak Horizon Fujairah said it recently increased the speed and efficiency of operations  by commissioning four oil tanker jetty pipelines connecting its terminal to the Port of Fujairah.

Saeed Khoory, ENOC’s CEO, said: “Over the years, Fujairah has firmly underlined its global credentials as one of the (world’s) top 3 oil storage hubs, next to Rotterdam and Singapore. The addition of more storage space at Vopak Horizon Fujairah will significantly support the region’s oil trade sector, and enhance the convenience of all key stakeholders by providing world-class logistics support.”

Eelco Hoekstra, Royal Vopak’s chairman and CEO, said:

“With its strategic location outside the Strait of Hormuz combined with the available infrastructure and knowledge, the Port of Fujairah is very well positioned to become a crude oil hub in the Middle East. We are excited to build together with our partners the seventh expansion of Vopak Horizon Fujairah and add crude oil tanks to safely serve our customers.”

According to Vopak, Fujairah has a growing and vital role in meeting the world’s non-captive oil storage market of more than 220 million cbm.
Fujairah’s location on the Gulf of Oman, some 160 km south of the Strait of Hormuz, gives it access to the Gulf region which holds nearly 50% of the world’s crude oil reserves.