Interview of Mr. Ali Ahmed Muqaibal (GM – International Retail) for Duqm Special Feature
1) When is the in-port bunker terminal that OOMCO is constructing at Port of Duqm expected to be commissioned?
ANSWER: Our terminal construction is under way and fully on track: the terminal will be commissioned early 2021. The timing is aligned with the development at the Port of Duqm and also the Duqm Refinery and its associated activities, to benefit from the bunker business demand generated by resulting shipping activities. In addition, potential cost effective product sourcing from the refinery will provide the bunker terminal with an additional cost competitive edge. This, together with the portfolio of ship support services available at the Port of Duqm will further support the port to emerge and grow as an attractive shipping destination in the region.
2) What will be the tankage capacity and other ancillary equipment and services at the terminal?
ANSWER: Terminal tanks storage capacity is 30,000 cubic meters, and the terminal is capable of storing and handling both VLSFO and lighter distillates like MGO. The primary mode of bunker fuel supply to ships will be by bunker barge permanently located in the port and resupplied with fuel from the terminal. If required by customer vessels, marine gasoil/diesel deliveries by truck can also be done, via a truck loading gantry in the terminal. For smaller and lower flow rate supply of diesel directly to customer vessels, there is a diesel fuel tank container unit (already active and positioned at the end of the finger pier in the port) with a capacity of 50,000 liters. It has dual combination pump sets and can supply in both high flow and low flow rates, depending on the requirements of the receiving ship.
Given the recent major change in international regulations for bunker fuels to be of low sulphur content, our terminal has been designed to be flexible: it can handle all low sulphur fuel requirements from shipping customers.
3) How is the bunker terminal going to contribute to the port’s growth and business development?
ANSWER: In any major port, bunker services are highly important as part of the full service offering by the port to attract shipping customers. With this terminal, OOMCO is providing a state of the art bunker terminal designed to latest international standards, able to meet all requirements through a variety of delivery methods as required by customers’ vessels. This bunker service is offered to all calling and passing ships, in-port vessels as well as ships coming to the dry dock and Ras Markaz terminal - all ships in the vicinity of Duqm will be able to receive bunker fuels according to their requirements and their preferred delivery method. Marine lubricants will also be available at our terminal. This full portfolio of bunker fuel and marine lubricants services OOMCO will offer at Duqm, contributes to shipping efficiency and will help customer ships to avoid other bunker only calls to other ports, with associated loss of time. All this contributes to the attractiveness of the Port of Duqm as a preferred shipping destination, and will increase business development and future port growth.
Although the bunker terminal at the Port of Duqm will be the hub of OOMCO’s bunker operations, it will also support our bunker operations in other ports. OOMCO is already active in bunker supply in all major ports of Oman and with business expanding, our Duqm terminal as a bunker hub will have a further positive country wide impact through synergies, it will also allow for optimal product sourcing and cost effectiveness.
4) Can you talk about the various bunkering services you are currently providing at the Port of Duqm?
ANSWER: OOMCO has already been active in providing bunker services at the port over the last few years. The commissioning of the bunker terminal and a bunker barge in the port will take these services to the next level - OOMCO is able to supply a full spectrum of bunker and marine lubricants services:
a) Heavy fuel oil (VLSFO & IMO) and MGO by barge (fuel specifications to customer requirements)
b) MGO/automotive diesel directly by tanker truck alongside the quays
c) Diesel fuel from the in-port tank container unit to smaller vessels alongside the finger pier, through both high flow and low flow modes
d) Marine lubricants, lubes grades as per customer requirements.