The Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc) said yesterday its wholly-owned subsidiary Horizon Terminals Limited has inaugurated a new facility in Morocco which involves an investment of Dh667 million.
In a statement, Enoc said the new facility located in Tangier has a capacity of 508,000 cubic metres of petroleum products and is part of Horizon's efforts to expand its network of terminals across the world.
"The new Horizon Tangier Terminals Ltd has a strategic location on the North African coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean.
"It is located at the crossing of two major maritime routes, and well-positioned to draw on business with Europe, with the facility only 15 km from the European Union," an Enoc statement said.
Commenting on the development, Robin Mills, head of consulting at Manaar Energy in Dubai, told Gulf News: "This latest project fits with Enoc's strategy of establishing petroleum terminals in strategic locations such as Morocco, Djibouti, Fujair-ah and Singapore.
"Enoc's presence is particularly strong in Mena [Middle East and North Africa] and Asia, where demand is growing rapidly. Terminals are an important part of Enoc's international business, given the losses it makes on its UAE petrol retail sites because of regulated prices."
Horizon's Tangier terminal can store petroleum products including fuel oil, gasoline and gasoil and has access to road tankers and vessels.
The new terminal is equipped with two berths of 30,000 dwt (deadweight tonnes) to 70,000 dwt in addition to eight truck loading bays for petroleum products, rail wagon loading, blend plant and recirculation systems.
"The terminal will contribute to the overall social and economic growth of Morocco, drive foreign trade and open up new opportunities for business in the petroleum sector," said Enoc's chief executive officer Saeed Abdullah Khoury.
Enoc said Horizon's new petroleum storage terminal has several advantages. It is uniquely positioned to help address the shortage of storage facilities in north Morocco which in turn can help reduce the historical costs associated with the supply of gasoil and motor gasoline that comes from central Morocco to the north. This can eventually contribute to the growth of the northern region.
"In addition to supplying the northern region's requirements, the Tangier terminal will also provide bunker services as well as serve the transit market for international petroleum marketing companies," the statement added.
Horizon, a bulk liquid storage terminalling company established in 2003, manages more than five million cubic metres of storage with a network of nine terminals ranging in location from South Korea to Morocco.