Sahara Energy Resources DMCC Dubai and Brooge Petroleum and Gas Investment Co (BPGIC), have signed a partnership agreement to set up an oil refinery capable of producing bunker fuel with a capacity of up to 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the Emirate of Fujairah.
Sahara Energy and BPGIC said the facility will be one of the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa to comply with the new regulations of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) 2020 by capping sulfur content in shipping fuels.
The first phase of the planned refinery is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2020.
The Secretary General of OPEC, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, attended the signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi and said the deal “evolved through the drive of the UAE’s leadership in promoting and supporting such private initiatives and expediting the diversification of their economies.”
He underlined the “unique role of the private sector as a critical engine for economic vision and strategies.”
Commenting on the signing, BPGIC CEO, Nicolaas Paardenkooper, stated that “the new facility will contribute to bolstering the growing status of the Emirate of Fujairah in the oil and gas industry and help meet the growing demand for shipping fuel that complies with the new international laws on capping sulfur content in shipping fuels, as most of current shipping fuel contains up to 35 per cent sulphur.” New regulations of IMO will require ships to use fuels with a sulphur content below 0.5 per cent beginning in 2020.
“It falls in line with the company’s expansion strategy and its growing contribution to the development of the Oil & Gas industry in the UAE by injecting more investments into this essential sector,” Paardenkooper said.
In his speech, the Executive Director, Sahara Group, Wale Ajibade, said the refinery unit would from its location in Fujairah make Sahara Energy DMCC a major supplier of IMO 2020 compliant products in the UAE as well as in African, Asian and European markets.
“Sahara Energy DMCC is delighted to be part of this landmark leap into the future of clean energy. We are constantly seeking opportunities to expand our operations and develop the sector in line with global best practices. Bringing energy to life is the passion that drives us at Sahara and we are committed to ensuring that our energy is accessible, clean and ultimately reliable for promoting sustainable development globally,” he said.