Sabic plans storage tank expansion at Jubail port

10 October 2011

Chemical giant needs to increase storage capacity at Jubail port

An affiliate of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) is planning a major expansion of its facilities at Jubail Industrial City in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.

Sabic Terminal Services Company (Sabtank) currently operates the majority of the petrochemicals storage at Jubail port in conjunction with Holland’s Vopak, which has a 10 per cent stake in return for operating the facility. The existing facilities include almost 1.3 million cubic metres of capacity, which can be held in 77 tanks.   

“The operating agreement is running out now so Sabic wants to sign a new deal,” a source based in the Eastern Province says. “They will also consider selling a share of the company to other investors in the kingdom.”

Other local petrochemicals companies said to be interested in taking a share include National Industrialisation Company (Tasnee), Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) and the Sahara Petrochemicals Company.

Sabic ownership
Source: Sabic

“We are watching this project as we expect it to be a large expansion, but we don’t think anything will happen in 2011,” a contracting source says.

No details regarding the scheme have been released, but when a similar scheme was mooted in 2008 the number of tanks numbered between 150-200 with all the associated facilities. That scheme was shelved due to the global economic crisis.

The project is unrelated to the port facilities being planned by the $20bn Sadara Chemical Company Complex being planned for Jubail.

Due to its size, Sadara plans to build its own facilities at the Jubail port and the US’s Fluor will carry out the engineering, procurement, construction and management on the various packages. 

“The port facilities will come under the remit of Fluor as part of the offsites and utilities package it signed [with Sadara],” the contracting source says. 

Tenders for the offsite packages are expected to be released in April or May 2012.

The bids for the main tank farm at Sadara are now under evaluation by the project owners Saudi Aramco and the US’ Dow Chemical (MEED 7:10:11).


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