Trafigura and BP will each take a 20 per cent stake in the venture, which will be supplied with refined products from the Sohar refinery in Oman. BP has an offtake agreement in place for the purchase of 80,000 barrels a day (b/d) of the petroleum products from the proposed 125,000-b/d Omani refinery, scheduled to come on stream in 2006 (MEED 10:1:03).

Supplies from Sohar, which are to be shipped to Jebel Ali by BP, will gradually supersede Emarat’s existing supply agreements with Abu Dhabi National Oil Companyand Vitol Holdingof the Netherlands. Emarat has agreed to buy 60 per cent of the Jebel Ali-based facility’s products.

The UK’s Mott MacDonaldhas drawn up the front-end engineering and design (FEED) studies for the project. A tender for the main engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract is due in March. The storage terminal will comprise 13 tanks, with associated buildings and interconnecting pipelines. A second-phase development is also envisaged on the 100,000-square-metre site. Construction work, which is scheduled to take 18 months, is due to begin in July.

Emarat, which sells about 700,000 tonnes a year of gasoline and petroleum products to Dubai and the northern emirates, expects to announce a turnover in the region of AED 2,500 million ($681 million) for 2002. However, higher oil prices throughout the year have hit profits, which are expected to fall by about 12 per cent to AED 340 million ($93 million) over the same period.

‘Our bottom line is dependent on the cost of petroleum,’ said general manager, Rashid al-Shamsi, during the announcement of the terminal in Dubai. ‘Pump prices to the public are fixed which makes us susceptible to gross marginal variations.’