Singapore-based developer JTC has announced construction could soon begin on the S$700 million (360 million) first phase development of the islands underground oil storage facility.
We are in the final stages of evaluation [of the tenders] and expect to make a decision in February, a JTC spokeswoman says.
The Netherlands-based tank operator Vopak has expressed strong interest in running the underground rock caverns. Vopak is currently operating onshore oil tanks on the island.
Other interested parties include Middle East oil firm Emirates National Oil Company and engineering firm Geostock-Jurong Consultants.
JTC indicated in a pre-qualifying tender document in April 2007 that it expected the first two caverns of phase 1 JRC to be operational by December 2010.
The first phase will see five caverns capable of holding 1.485 million m³ of crude oil, naphtha, condensate and gas oil. Four will store 330,000 m³ and the fifth will hold 165,000 m³.
Construction work will involve approximately 5 miles of galleries and tunnels, giving the caverns sizes of about 20m wide and 27m high.
A planned phase 2 could add another 1.3 million m³ of storage.