AquaChemie breaks ground on $40m petrochemical terminal at Jebel Ali Port

The project will serve as a vital gateway, facilitating and boosting the growing petrochemical trade between manufacturers and end-users in the Middle East and globally

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DUBAI — AquaChemie Middle East on Monday broke ground on its strategic, world-class petrochemical terminal in DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali Port that will cost Dh150 million or $40 million.

The leading chemical sales and services company and part of the UAE-based AquaChemie Group said the project will serve as a vital gateway, facilitating and boosting the growing petrochemical trade between manufacturers and end-users in the Middle East and globally, while also addressing the acute shortage of storage facilities for redistribution and lease for bulk chemicals in Jebel Ali Port.

The state-of-the-art specialised bulk storage terminal will have a total envisaged capacity of around 40,000 CBM (Cubic Meter), out of which 35,000 CBM will be in bulk storage tanks and about 5,000 CBM in ISO tanks and drums.

Scheduled for construction completion by early Q2 2022, the facility will be a turnkey and fully integrated distribution center capable of handling bulk imports and packed chemicals at high volume. The terminal is designed to store flammable chemicals, up to NFPA Class 1B. Over 100 chemicals of UN Class3 hazardous classification or non-hazardous chemicals can be stored in the facility’s nitrogen blanketed tanks.

AquaChemie Middle East targets revenue of around $400 million from the petrochemical terminal business in the next 7 years. This would form a substantial portion of the AquaChemie Group business.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new chemical terminal was held at Jebel Ali and was attended by Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO and Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region and CEO of Jafza; Abdulla Bin Damithan, Chief Commercial Officer, DP World, UAE Region and Ahmad Al Haddad, Chief Operating Officer, Parks and Zones, DP World, UAE Region. In addition, directors and key members of AquaChemie Middle East and other industry associates and well-wishers were present.

Mohammed Al Muallem said the petrochemical sector forms an integral part of DP World, UAE Region’s key industry clusters. Jebel Ali Port and Jafza’s combined capabilities as an integrated hub that offers multimodal connectivity, caters to the extensive demand of the industry at the local and international level. “Over the years, we have been providing a wide range of solutions to the region’s chemicals’ trade and logistics sector. We take pride in the fact that we can enable a regional distributor like AquaChemie. We are confident that this project will transform the business landscape of the petrochemicals segment that is underpinned by rapidly changing regulations, technology disruptions and evolving customer demands.”

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AquaChemie Middle East has engaged Mott MacDonald, the renowned global engineering, management, and development consultancy – to undertake the project’s concept design, basic engineering, detailed engineering and PMC, Project Management Contract.

The key advantage of the 20,000sqm project is its strategic location – connected by four jetty pipelines – located only 500 meters from Jebel Ali Port Chemical Berth #4. The deep-water port is the flagship facility of DP World that has a portfolio of over 80 marine and inland terminals across six continents.

Cherian George, AquaChemie, Project Manager for this prestigious project commented, “I am looking forward to the commissioning of this state-of-the-art facility, with utmost importance to safety and quality, within the strict budget and time schedule. Moreover, we are fortunate to receive from DP World, UAE Region a very strategic location for our new project.”

Speaking on the occasion, Subrato Saha, Co-Founder and Director of AquaChemie Middle East, said: “Being associated with the petrochemicals industry for over three decades, I am excited to soon play a direct role in the distribution of additional 100-150 KTA (Kilo tonnes per annum) of over 50 petrochemicals globally. This new petrochemical facility will make us a sizeable industry player, responsibly focused on Quality, Health, Safety and Environment.”

According to Saha, the new chemical terminal will serve as a one-stop solution for sourcing raw materials and process chemicals for several industries and is poised to service customers, including oil and gas downstream, fine chemicals, fertilizer plants, paints and coatings, pharma, agrochemicals, textiles, and other industrial and consumer products. Local and regional availability of chemicals will foster all the chemical-based associated industries in the region, he added.

During the projected 16-18 months’ construction duration, the project is expected to engage a workforce of over 250 through various contractors. Once commissioned, AquaChemie will scale up the personnel operation with an initial headcount of about 60 employees, which will swell with facility utilization, stabilizing at around 100 blue and white-collar employees. Sales and marketing staff with AquaChemie and its global distributors will be additional.

As per Grand View Research, the global petrochemicals market size is around $480 billion, with an anticipated CAGR of approximately 5 percent. Although the Middle East and Africa, MEA, consumption is only about 15 percent, it takes the lion’s share in manufacturing and exports, especially from the GCC region, due to the availability of low-cost feedstock and cheap energy sources for production. Total global petrochemicals production is around 2,200 million tons per annum.

— riaz@dubainews.tv

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