FUJAIRAH, United Arab Emirates, March 5 (Reuters) - Vopak , the world’s largest independent storage tank operator, is expanding its chemical product storage capacity in Saudi Arabia, a senior executive told Reuters on Thursday.
Vopak, which offers oil, chemical and biofuels storage in the world’s top bunkering hubs Singapore and Rotterdam, as well as on the east coast of the United Arab Emirates, has a joint venture with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC).
The partnership, Jubail Chemicals Storage and Services Co (JCSSC), has a storage and shipping terminal at King Fahd Industrial Port in Jubail.
“Current capacity ... is over 1.3 million cubic meters (mcm) in Jubail, and we have some capacity in Yanbu as well,” said Frank Erkelens, regional president of Vopak.
“Through the joint venture that we have with SABIC we will build new capacity. The first phase is about 220,000 cubic meters and we are looking into the second phase of about 350,000 cubic meters.”
The extra storage capacity is expected to be commissioned “during this year or the beginning of 2016. It is already under construction,” said Erkelens.
Vopak holds a 25 percent stake in JCSSC.
SABIC, one of the world’s largest petrochemicals companies, is Saudi’s main source of non-oil exports which also provides the raw materials for a host of downstream factories in Jubail and Yanbu.
Vopak is building five crude oil storage tanks with total capacity of 478,000 cubic metres (cm) at Fujairah, and may eventually expand that number. (Reporting by Rania El Gamal; Editing by Mark Potter)