The Sadara Chemical Company is to release the tender for the port tank farm package to be built at Jubail Port in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia by the end of April.

The tender involves the construction of 41 tanks with a capacity of about 350,000 cubic metres. The facilities will act as the main storage area for the export offtake of the $20bn Sadara petrochemicals complex being built at Jubail and will be built adjacent to the planned $450m expansion of the Sabic Terminal Services Company (Sabtank).

“Contractors are expecting a tender to be released in the next week for this package,” says a contracting source based in Saudi Arabia. “At first Sadara was thinking of building the tanks in conjunction with Sabtank, but the timescale doesn’t fit.”

Despite the Sabtank expansion and the Sadara tank farm being built independently, a Saudi Arabian petrochemicals source says that eventually the facilities could still be merged and run as one company.

“The tank farms would share a lot of infrastructure so it makes sense to join them together,” says the source. “The original facilities in place now would be retained by Sabtank, but both the expansion and Sadara tanks will be joined together.”

MEED reported in October 2011 that as well as Sadara, local petrochemicals companies such as National Industrialisation Company (Tasnee), Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) and the Sahara Petrochemicals Company, were interested in acquiring a stake in the new expanded facilities.

The main scope of the Sabtank is similar to Sadara’s plans and will involve the construction of 37 storage tanks with a total capacity of 330,000 cubic metres. The project cost is believed to be higher than Sadara’s however, because of the additional facilities being built that both tank farms will share. These include a handling unit, berth facilities, substation, firefighting facilities and truck loading and unloading facilities.

The Sadara Chemical Company is a 50:50 joint venture between Saudi Aramco and the US’ Dow Chemical. Sabtank is a 90:10 joint venture between Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) and Dutch port operator Vopak.