October 10, 2019 / 7:32 AM / 7 days ago

UPDATE 1-UAE's BPGIC to expand storage capacity, refinery operations

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DUBAI, Oct 10 (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates’ Brooge Petroleum and Gas Investment Co (BPGIC) plans to boost crude oil storage capacity and expand refining facilities after managing to lease additional land in the bunkering hub of Fujairah, the company said on Thursday.

“BPGIC expects that ... could add storage and services capacity of ... 3.5 million cubic metres,” it said in a statement.

That amount is in addition to existing storage capacity of 1 million cubic metres across about 22 tanks for crude and oil products, BPGIC added.

The company said it aimed to start construction of the new facilities later in 2019, and was in talks with international oil companies to lease part of its planned crude storage capacity.

In September, BPGIC awarded a contract to Spain’s SENER engineering group to build an oil refinery in Fujairah, located just outside the Strait of Hormuz, a key shipping lane.

The plant will produce bunker fuel that complies with new international laws capping sulphur content in shipping fuels.

The first phase of the planned 250,000-barrels-per-day refinery will be completed in the first quarter of 2020.

New regulations from the International Maritime Organization will require ships to use fuels with a sulphur content below 0.5% beginning in 2020. Current shipping fuel is much dirtier, with higher levels of sulphur.

Earlier this year, BPGIC listed its shares on the Nasdaq stock exchange after merging with U.S.-based firm Twelve Seas Investment Co.

The move was part of the UAE-based oil storage company’s expansion strategy.

BPGIC, established in 2013, is one of the largest holders of storage assets in Fujairah.

Reporting by Rania El Gamal; Editing by Dale Hudson and Clarence Fernandez

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