Singapore-based oil trader Trescorp plans to build a 45-hectare terminal at Sohar Port in nothern Oman.

The investment required for the new terminal, which is envisaged to meet growing demand for bunker services in the region, is estimated at $600m.

The planned facility will feature six deep-water berths with 25 metre drafts. One of the six berths will be equipped to receive very large crude carrier (VLCC) oil tankers with capacity of up to 320,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT)

The facility will be located in Sohar Port South, which is being constructed on a reclaimed land.

One of the six planned berths will be equipped to accommodate supertankers

Singapore-based oil trader Trescorp plans to build a 45-hectare terminal at Sohar Port in nothern Oman.

The investment required for the new terminal, which is envisaged to meet growing demand for bunker services in the region, is estimated at $600m.

The planned facility will feature six deep-water berths with 25 metre drafts. One of the six berths will be equipped to receive very large crude carrier (VLCC) oil tankers with capacity of up to 320,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT)

The facility will be located in Sohar Port South, which being constructed on a reclaimed land.

In its first phase, the terminal will be equipped to receive, store and blend crude oil, fuel oil and diesel. Expansion plans for phase two include gasoline blending, jet fuel, asphalt and a lube oil blending plant.

Construction of the first phase of the terminal is expected to commence in 2018.

The first phase will have an initial storage capacity of 600,000 cubic metres, while future expansion plans will take the total storage capacity to up to 1.8 million cubic metres.

Construction of the facilities will be privately funded with initial investments for phase 1 estimated at $187m, the firm said in a statement.

The terminal is expected to commence operations by 2020.

According to Hamood al-Hashmi, chairman of Trescorp, the forecasts for the growth of petroleum trading in the Gulf area are far greater than the available storage capacity, which means there is significant scope for future growth.

The executive said the region’s capacity is still relatively small compared to the combined storage at Port of Singapore and Johor Port that totals around 20 million cubic metres.

“Our world-class, dedicated marine facilities at the new terminal will ensure shorter turnaround times for vessels and faster re-exports,” Al-Hashmi said. “Our blending capabilities will also increase the value of products stored in the terminal.”

Refined products from Sohar will be traded and exported in emerging economies that include the Indian subcontinent, East Africa, China and the rest of Asia, the company said.

Five hectares of the new Trescorp development are allocated for the development of a Lubrication Park that will blend various grades of lubricating oil products, including marine grade lubricants.

Supply of the products will include bulk delivery using lube barges to tankers bunkering in Sohar port. Road tanker access to the new facility is also planned.

The availability of new land in the Port through the reclamation works makes the crude and fuel terminal technically feasible, according to Mark Geilenkirchen, Sohar Port CEO. The facility’s commercial viability is expected to come from leveraging existing petroleum trading infrastructures in Dubai and potentially adding offshore floating storage facilities in the port’s new anchorage area.

It is understood that the strategic location of Sohar Port away from the Strait of Hormuz in addition to its deep-water access were key reasons for Trescorp’s choice to locate a new terminal at the port.

Sohar Port said it is also undertaking advanced licensing negotiations with two other bunker service providers following a recent call for tender.