Al Jifnain Terminal – the Sultanate’s principal complex for the storage and distribution of transportation fuels – handled over 70 per cent of the country’s fuel requirements in 2019, underscoring its importance as the hub of Oman’s expanding fuel logistics infrastructure.
According to OQ Logistics, a joint venture of Spanish-based international fuel logistics giant Compañía Logística de Hidrocarburos (CLH) with a 40 per cent stake and Omani refining and petrochemicals conglomerate OQ (formerly Oman Oil and Orpic Group) with a 60 per cent interest), Al Jifnain Terminal performed well beyond its remit as the country’s fuel distribution hub.
The 170,000 cubic-metre-capacity terminal located at Al Jifnain in the Wilayat of Seeb forms the centerpiece of a $336 million investment spearheaded by OQ in the development of Oman’s maiden fuel logistics infrastructure project. A roughly 300km-long bidirectional pipeline system connects the terminal with OQ’s two refineries in Suhar and Mina Al Fahal, as well as supplies jet fuel to Muscat International Airport.
“In 2019, which was the first full year that all (OQ Logistics) assets were fully operational, the company managed almost 5 million cubic metres of gasoline, diesel oil and kerosene, which represents more than 70 per cent of total domestic demand for these fuels,” said OQ Logistics in its newly published 2019 Annual Report.
“The Al Jifnain terminal managed by OQ Logistics LLC, in which CLH has a 40 per cent stake, is now meeting more than 70 per cent of domestic product demand, thus exceeding forecasts,” it further noted.
Formally unveiled in March 2018, the terminal and the associated Muscat-Suhar Product Pipeline network were one of three strategic growth projects implemented by OQ in recent years at a total cost of over $10 billion. Together with the Sohar Refinery Improvement Project ($2.7 billion) and Liwa Plastics ($6.7 billion), the three big-ticket ventures were part of the government’s vision to maximise value creation from Oman’s crude output, as well as strengthen the country’s fuel security.
To help in the delivery of the Sultanate’s first dedicated fuel logistics hub, OQ roped in CLH Group – billed as one of the world’s largest privately owned providers of fuel logistics services – to assist in the design, construction and operation of a major fuel depot on the outskirts of the capital city.
Besides Oman, CLH Group also has operations in the UK, Ireland, Panama and Ecuador, in addition to Spain where it owns and operates much of the country’s fuel distribution networks.
Equipped with 16 loading bays, the state of the art terminal can to load up to 700 tanker trucks per day with motor fuels for transportation to fuel stations across the country. A dedicated pipeline also supplies aviation fuel to Muscat International Airport around 25km away, thus dispensing with potentially hazardous tanker-supplied deliveries.
Furthermore, following the commissioning and launch of the terminal at Al Jifnain, tanker trucks that once served as the principal lifeline connecting the Mina Al Fahal and Suhar refineries with filling stations have all but disappeared from the capital city, thereby easing road congestion and carbon emissions as well.