Audex awarded $231m of work on Fujairah oil storage

21 May 2015

Singapore group to build oil storage terminals for two companies at UAE port

  • Clients thought to be Brooge and VTTI
  • Company to build two tank farms
  • Demand for oil storage driven by low prices

Singapore-based Audex has won two contracts totalling $231m to build oil storage terminals in Fujairah on the east coast of the UAE.

The most recent contract, worth S$176m ($132m), was awarded by Abu Dhabi-based Brooge Petroleum and Gas Investment Company, according to sources familiar with the project.

Audex’s parent company PEC Ltd announced the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deal on its website, but gave no details of the client or capacity of the scheme.

Brooge is planning to build a terminal with a proposed capacity to store 843,000 cubic metres of fuel oil, clean products and crude oil.

The announced EPC contract is thought to cover the first of two phases, which will incorporate small and medium-sized tanks with a combined capacity of 350,000 cubic metres.

Local group MUC Oil & Gas was earlier this year appointed as the project management consultant (PMC) for the project planned by Brooge.

Brooge and PEC were not available to comment on the contract.

The latest statement on Brooge’s website in April states that earthworks on the site have begun and “construction of the terminal is anticipated to begin upon completion of the earthworks”.

PEC announced that the project comprises product storage facilities, product pumping facilities and utilities, and would be completed by March 2017.

Audex won another EPC contract in Fujairah in February, worth S$132m ($99m). PEC revealed that the project covers crude and fuel oil tanks with a combined capacity of 430,000 cubic metres for a “leading refinery in the UAE”.

According to industry sources, the client of the project is VTTI – a joint venture of Dutch oil trading group Vitol and Malaysian shipping company Misc Berhad.

VTTI announced in early May that a Singapore-based EPC contractor had worked on completing the detailed design and procurement of materials, and that construction of the tank foundations were under way. VTTI has set a target of commissioning the project by April 2016.

“The bespoke project, initiated on behalf of a customer, was designed and agreed in just five months,” reads VTTI’s latest update.

The EPC contract involves:

  • Constructing a new 430,000 cubic-metre tank farm of heated, black oil K1 tanks under a long-term, exclusive lease agreement.
  • Assigning additional storage from VTTI FTL’s existing capacity, taking the total contract up to 475,000 cubic metres.
  • Providing operational resources for the customer’s new processing facility on-site, and all required connections to the terminal’s tankage.

VTTI operates a 80,000 barrel-a-day refinery in Fujairah and already has a storage capacity of more than 1.1 million cubic metres.

Oil storage projects are set to rapidly expand the Port of Fujairah’s capacity despite uncertainty in the global oil markets, according to data released by the port authority.

The global oil tank storage sector has benefited since the price of crude began to drop in the summer of 2014, with traders seeking out storage to sell at a profit after an anticipated rebound in price.

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