Plans for the development of a major liquid terminal at the Port of Duqm, designed to cater to the needs of a world-scale oil refinery as well as a future hydrocarbon-based industry in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ), are due to be kicked off shortly.
According to a senior executive of the joint venture Port of Duqm Company (PDC), which operates and manages the maritime gateway, the terminal will be implemented against a design and build contract due to be tendered out later this year.
‘Our objective is to have the terminal up and running in 2017, in parallel with the targeted launch of the refinery project,’ says Reggy Vermeulen, commercial director, Port of Duqm.
As a first step, the port and its partners plan to issue a Terms of Reference (TOR) document inviting qualified consultants to bid for a contract to study, among other things, the overall layout for the project, as well as prepare a Bill of Quantities. Based on the consultant’s findings, a tender for the design and construction of the terminal will be floated later in the year.
The capacity of the terminal will reportedly be large enough to handle the import and export requirements of a 230,000 bpd capacity refinery proposed at Duqm, as well as liquid volumes that will be generated by a future oil and petrochemical based industry and tank farm expected to take root in the SEZ. With a quay wall extending up to three kilometres, there will be enough capacity to accommodate the required number of berths to handle growth in liquid cargoes over the long-term.
Additionally, the terminal will be equipped to berth ships transporting not only crude, but a variety of refined petroleum products and other liquids. ‘In the initial years, the refinery will operate on crude brought by ship because there is no pipeline in place at the moment. Later on, however, part of the finished product will (be marketed domestically) and part will be exported,’ Vermeulen says.
‘The Duqm SEZ project, which has taken root with the construction of a modern port and dry dock complex, is the largest concentrated development in Oman today. Also as part of the Duqm Project, there will be an international airport, a new town for 100,000 inhabitants, a huge industrial area covering an area of 6,000 hectares in the first phase, a tourism zone, and other components. All of these form part of a gigantic swath covering an area of 177,000 hectares earmarked for the zone.’
According to the official, the SEZ essentially comprises of two broad areas — a northern region which is currently under development with around 35 projects progressing in parallel, and a southern region earmarked for future development.