The Singapore arm of an independent terminaling company established by Dubai-based Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc) has broken ground on the construction of a $205 million (Dh752.4 million) bulk liquids terminal located at Singapore's Banyan Basin, Banyan Jurong Island.

The terminal's first phase will feature 27 tanks providing 720,000 cubic metres of storage for liquid petroleum products, with seven berthing positions spread over four jetties.

These will enable the berthing of partially laden very large crude carriers (VLCCs) as well as small barges for bunker or cross-port trades.

Construction of the terminal is due for completion within 18 months, with commissioning scheduled for the third quarter of 2006.

The facility will be capable of handling a variety of petroleum products.

Horizon Singapore Terminals Pte Limited is the Singapore branch of Horizon Terminals Limited (HTL) a subsidiary of Enoc.

Representatives of Horizon Singapore Terminals Pte Limited and Singapore's Jurong Town Corporation, which provided the land for the terminal, recently attended a specially arranged ground-breaking ceremony.

Representatives of Singapore's Economic Development Board, which has backed the project from the beginning, and Singapore's Marine Port Authority (MPA) were also present.

"The Horizon Singapore Terminals Pte Limited terminal will further enhance the Lion City's standing as a premier regional logistics hub for petroleum and petrochemical products," said Hussain Sultan, Enoc group chief executive and board member.

"The terminal will provide fast turnaround in the loading and unloading of ships, utilising dedicated tanks and pumps to avoid contamination risks," Sultan said.

All remaining major contracts for the project are in the process of being awarded, including construction of the jetties, electrical and instrumentation work and mechanical and piping work.

The project is considered a milestone in the development of Banyan Jurong Island as a key global terminalling hub.

Horizon Singapore Terminals Pte Limited is a joint venture incorporated in Singapore with partners including Horizon Terminals Limited (52 per cent), Kuwait's Independent Petroleum Group (15 per cent), SK Energy Asia Pte Ltd of South Korea (15 per cent), Martank BV of Holland (ten per cent) and Boreh International FZE of the UAE (eight per cent).