Turkey’s Topaz Engineering has been awarded a $100m contract by GPS Chemoil, a joint venture of India’s Chemoil and local Gulf Petroleum Supplies for a fourth phase expansion at its oil storage terminal in Fujairah in the UAE, according to a 19 October company statement.

Operating through its subsidiary, Nico International Hydrospace, the company will build a new tank farm, increasing capacity to approximately 675,000 cubic metres by the end of 2012 from the current 580,000 cubic metres.

The automated storage terminal includes a facility for loading and receiving middle distillates, gas and fuel oil from shipping berths via eight loading and receiving pipelines running from the jetties to the terminal.

Fujairah is the only emirate in the UAE not to border the Gulf, allowing ships using the Fujairah port to avoid the heavily congested Strait of Hormuz, which ferries 40 per cent of the world’s seaborne crude oil through its waters, according to the US’ Energy Information Administration.

With deep waters, which allow access to ships of up to ultra-large crude carrier size – 500,000 dead-weight tonnes – the port of Fujairah’s has become the world’s second-largest bunkering destination for cargo ships to refuel and restock with supplies, without having to pass into the Gulf.

According to regional projects tracker MEED Projects, there are currently some $4.5bn of schemes either planned or under way to expand Fujairah port’s capacity and boost its supply of oil, more than doubling the storage facilities at the port to 7.5 million cubic metres, from current capacity of about 3.1 million cubic metres (MEED 22:5:10).