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Tender for Port of Duqm Liquid Terminal by year-end

05 February 2013
MUSCAT -- 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 Liquid Terminal will be implemented against a Design & Build contract due to be tendered out later this year.

"We are now working on the formalities relating to the design and construction of the Liquid Terminal that will be used primarily for the supply of crude to the planned refinery. Our objective is to have the terminal up and running in 2017, in parallel with the targeted launch of the refinery project. We are now working with our partners to prepare the tendering of the Liquid Terminal," said 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 detailed design and construction of the Liquid Terminal will be floated later in the year, he stated.

Vermeulen said the capacity of the Liquid Terminal will be large enough to handle the import and export requirements of a 230,000 barrels per day 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 Liquid 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. Yes, there will be capacity for the handling of different types of inbound and outbound liquids," Vermeulen said.

Earlier, in a presentation at the Oman Construction Summit last week, the Commercial Director, outlined opportunities for investors, contractors and service providers at the maritime gateway and Duqm SEZ.

"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. Thus, the SEZ has been envisaged by the government as a long-term development, he said.

Of the many clusters planned within the SEZ, the Logistics Zone will come under the purview of Port of Duqm Company. So will part of the Industrial Zone, Vermeulen noted.

Commenting on the current status of the port development, he said a small section of the 2km-long commercial quay has been provisionally operationalised as part of the port's 'Early Operations Phase' strategy. Final completion of the quay is slated for 2015 upon the provision of paving, cranes, handling equipment, utilities, and so on, tenders for which will be floated in the coming months.

The Early Operations Phase, he said, is primarily designed to cater to project cargo linked to the development of the Duqm SEZ as well as the oil ventures in the hydrocarbon-rich Wusta governorate.

Vessels call at Duqm every 10 days to two weeks, with the port serving as a convenient gateway for project cargo destined for oilfields in central Oman, he said.

"In Phase 2 of the port's development, there is potential to create up to 10 kilometres of additional quay wall for commercial terminals. As of now, it's not yet defined how this quay wall will be utilised, but we will first test the market and then decide how to earmark 10km of quay," the Commercial Director added.

© Oman Daily Observer 2013

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