Two announcements in this past week have again underlined the continued rapid development of Fujairah as an oil storage leader. A pipeline connecting the Port of Fujairah with Vopak Horizon Fujairah’s storage facility has begun operations, allowing the facility to load products onto 11 tankers at once, four more than previously. Whilst this announcement was followed up with plans that Fujairah is seeking investors to extend its port coastline by 500 metres into the sea to make room for new oil projects.
Speaking to Abu Dhabi based newspaper The National, Yusr Hussain Sultan Al Junaidy, the chief executive of Horizon Terminals said of the pipeline: “This project was really for us to connect to the port to give us more flexibility to use the infrastructure in the port.” Horizon Terminals, a subsidiary of Emirates National Oil Co, and Dutch fuel storage company Royal Vopak N.V. (Vopak), are partners in Vopak Horizon Fujairah, which is expanding its storage capacity to 4 million cubic feet from its current level of 2.1 million.
Whilst plans were later announced to add another 2.5 million square metres to the Emirate’s land mass. That would allow Fujairah to add crude oil and petrochemicals to its energy industry portfolio, which already includes about 7 million cubic feet of downstream oil products storage in massive tanks lining its narrow strip of coast between the mountains and the sea.
Fujairah, one of the United Arab Emirates seven sheikhdoms, lies outside the Persian Gulf on the Gulf of Oman and this strategic location, avoiding the choke-point at Hormuz makes it attractive to traders and operators. As a result Fujairah is now one of the top three bunkering ports in the world along with Rotterdam and Singapore. A little over a year after its opening, between 700,000 and 800,000 barrels of oil have been flowing to the Fujairah facility every day since June, equivalent to half of the emirate’s onshore production. That means some tankers have been partially loading in Abu Dhabi before arriving at a mooring point in Fujairah to load up.
The National also reported that the Port of Fujairah is also consulting storage owners on whether it should build one or two berths to accommodate very large crude carriers, the mega-sized tankers favoured by the crude industry.
Horizon Terminals and the Port of Fujairah will be speaking at Tank World Expo in Dubai on April; 14-15 2014.