Vopak Horizon Fujairah, an oil terminal joint venture that is currently assessing the feasibility of expanding its storage capacity, is not considering entering into a partnership with Petrochina for the project.

According to reports, Petrochina is considering plans to establish a storage facility in Fujairah. The emirate is growing into a crude logistics and processing hub.

Petrochina wants to build storage capacity of up to 1 million cubic metres, according to news agency Reuters, citing government and ports officials in Fujairah.

Vopak Horizon Fujairah has been suggested as a potential partner for Petrochina. But senior figures at Vopak Horizon Fujairah denied that it was considering this option.

The firm is currently studying the feasibility of adding to its storage capacity in Fujairah. Should study prove conclusive, front-end engineering and design (feed) work could begin soon. “It is very difficult to say when, maybe a month or two months from now,” says Walter Moone, managing director at Vopak Horizon Fujairah.

The joint venture is already adding 600,000 cubic metres of capacity by constructing 21 new oil storage tanks, while also expanding mooring space by adding additional berths. The project is set for completion in the first quarter of 2012 and will boost the firm’s capacity in Fujairah to a total of 2.1 million cubic metres.

Tenders for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract could follow the feed by the end of the year.

Vopak Horizon Fujairah is a joint venture between Dutch hydrocarbon storage company Vopak, Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc), Kuwait’s Independent Petroleum Group, Dutch crude oil trader Vitol and the government of Fujairah.

Fujairah developing into a crude hub, as the emirate is capitalising on its strategic location on the UAE’s southern coast, which allows tankers to bypass the Straits of Hormuz.

Fujairah is presently building up its berthing capacity and is reclaiming land to cater for storage expansion. In April, Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company announced it will go forward with its plans to construct a $3bn refinery in Fujairah.