Contractors bidding on the first phase of the world’s largest planned crude storage facility at Ras Markaz in central Oman have been called in for a technical meeting this week with developer Oman Tank Terminal Company (OTTCO), according to a source close to the project.

The sultanate is developing a storage facility at Ras Markaz, which is located 70km south of the central Omani town of Duqm to store up to 200 million barrels of oil when fully completed. It is being developed as an alternative to storage hubs along the congested Strait of Hormuz as well as a facility to support upcoming energy and logistics projects in Duqm.

OTTCO is currently evaluating bids to develop phase one of the facility with a capacity of 26 million barrels to be built over ten years.

Investment for phase one is expected to reach $1.8bn and includes costs for constructing crude oil tanks, marine and infrastructure facilities.

According to the source, selected bidders will be invited to submit commercial bids on the project with phase one set to be awarded in January 2018.

The following teams submitted technical bids on 2 July:

  • China Harbour Engineering/China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau JV (China)
  • Saipem (Italy)
  • Sinopec/Chinese Oil Engineering Construction Corporation JV (China)
  • Royal Boskalis Westminster/Rotary Engineering JV (Netherlands/Singapore)
  • Petrofac (UK)

Phase one will also include marine facilities to handle the import and export of crude at a capacity of 100 barrels an hour.

Investment for phase two is expected to be around $925m, while the subsequent three phases would require $1.1bn each.

Work for the first phase of the project includes:

  • construction of tanks for the storage of crude oil and its derivatives
  • floating platforms and piers for the import and export of crude oil and its derivatives
  • pier for the tug boats under water
  • 5km to 7km pipelines to receive and export oil
  • plant for pumping oil to the tanks
  • laboratories
  • control rooms
  • administrative offices
  • safety and securities facilities
  • blending terminal

The first phase of the Ras Markaz crude park will set aside 4.4 million barrels capacity to serve the upcoming 230,000 barrel-a-day Duqm Refinery.

Crude storage tanks to service the refinery were tendered as part of the third package on the project, which was awarded to Saipem for $900m, The package also includes terminal export facilities, crude pipelines as well as a pumping station.