DUBAI, UAE: AquaChemie Middle East, part of the UAE-based AquaChemie Group, has formally inaugurated its world-class petrochemical terminal in DP World’s Jebel Ali Port in Dubai.
The advanced $50 million (AED 184 million) terminal will be one of the most functional and versatile bulk liquid terminals in the GCC region serving as a vital gateway to facilitate and boost the growing petrochemical trade between manufacturers and end-users across the Middle East and globally.
The state-of-the-art terminal would help Indian customers find easier and faster access to petrochemical products, primarily from Saudi Arabia and other GCC manufacturers, to meet growing demand in India. With a transit time of 3-4 days between the two countries for chemical tankers, the Jebel Ali storage terminal is well connected to all major ports and logistics hubs in India.
This will increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of importing petrochemical products into India. Moreover, Indian manufacturers and suppliers could effectively export in bulk to the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
AquaChemie commissioned Mott MacDonald for the new facility’s design detailed engineering and project management, with the region’s leading mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and civil contractors also being on boarded for the project’s completion in record time.
The foundation of the Petrochemical Terminal was laid on 23 November, 2020, with the new facility being awarded its Operation Fitness Certificate (OFC), along with all of the required regulatory certifications from Dubai Civil Defense and DP World on 18 January 2023.
The facility has been fully CDI-T (Chemical Distribution Institute – Terminal) assessed and is ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, and ISO 45001:2018 certified. The terminal has already serviced the first vessel carrying chemicals.
The Chemical Terminal covers an area of 20,000 square metres and is located some 500 metres from Chemical Berth 4 in Jebel Ali Port. The new facility is linked by five SS pig-gable jetty pipelines, making it one of the most functional and versatile bulk liquid terminals in the GCC region.
With a total storage volume of over 34,000 cubic metres, the 26 large tanks in tank-farm A, B, C, and D are well equipped to handle over 100 UN Class 3 and 8 chemicals. The terminal has three tanker truck loading bays for top and bottom loading of tankers and ISO tanks, five semi-automatic drumming lines, a warehousing facility with over 6,300 drums, a dedicated ISO tank storage area, and a weigh bridge at the truck entry point.
The terminal is fully monitored and controlled from a central control room. AquaChemie’s corporate headquarter building is located on the same site as the terminal facility, so as to allow the leadership team to stay in close proximity. The corporate building houses the terminal’s operation control room, support and sales staff offices, dining and recreation areas, management office and board room.
“It took us over four years to bring the AquaChemie terminal from concept to reality. We are thankful to have met such capable collaborators along the way who assisted us in shaping it. We pledge to our customers, employees, investors, and neighbours that we will conduct business in the safest, most environmentally and socially responsible manner possible, for both current and future generations,” said Saha.
“AquaChemie group’s revenue target for the new terminal over the next three years is $300 million (AED1.1 billion). The storage facility has been built primarily for AquaChemie’s captive distribution of products. It strengthens the business case for chemical supply by increasing economies of scale, lowering freight costs, and expanding into new industries and geographies,” said Saha.
Petrochemical manufacturers and end-users are located globally. In terms of packing volumes and the geographic location of the manufacturer and end-user industry for petrochemical products, there is a significant supply chain gap. The new terminal, which is essentially a break-bulk facility, now fills the supply chain void by serving as a strategic hub for the liquid petrochemical trade and distribution.
With the new facility the petrochemical sector also gets to avail of expanded opportunities in the local ecosystem involving logistics, transportation, and other service providers.
“Our new state-of-the-art terminal is a step towards backward integration of our current oil and gas offering for the upstream and downstream petrochemical sectors. The supply reliability and lower supply chain cost will immensely benefit our existing customers as chemicals will be delivered on time so that the customers’ operations are not disrupted,” said Kumar.
“The new terminal will also assist in the formation of strategic alliances with regional and global manufacturers of petrochemicals, in order to distribute bulk products to customers in smaller packaging. To maximise capacity utilisation and partially offset operation costs, a few tanks in the new facility will be leased for third-party storage. Chemicals hold enormous promise for the region. We hope, humbly, to contribute to this value chain,” added Kumar.
“I am especially excited about our combined offering of a centrally located storage terminal supplemented by local setup in each Middle Eastern country. We will become a dependable chemical product supplier all year round, and serving on all days. Our new facility now enables the storage of several new products with improved pricing and availability for end-users,” said Snehal Karia, VP Business Development of AquaChemie.
“Outsourcing operations to MDR’s professional team, internationally recognised for process facility operation, has simplified my job,” said Vishal Patel, GM Terminal of AquaChemie.
China, the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea are amongst the top six countries, by volume, producing bulk petrochemicals worldwide. The global petrochemical market is expected to reach $5.4 trillion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 4.1 percent during the forecast period.