Enoc has the ability to blend the fuel necessary for the bunkers, but did not have the barges necessary to transport it to the large ships that need to be refuelled. Image Credit: Gulf News archive

Dubai: Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc) announced on Monday the expansion of its Jebel Ali refinery facility by 70,000 barrels a day at a cost of more than $1 billion.

The expansion, announced in a statement, represents a 50 per cent increase in refinery capacity and is to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2019. The facility, built in 1999, was last expanded in 2010.

The project to expand the facility to 210,000 barrels a day from 140,000 barrels a day consists of three separate packages. The cost is estimated to be “in excess” of $1 billion, Enoc said in a statement.

The main package includes adding a new condensate processing train and additional processing units. The other packages involve the construction of storage tanks and a 31,000 square foot warehouse.

Rome-based Technip Italy won the Engineering Procurement and Construction contract, Enoc said, adding that the Front End Engineering Designing was completed by KBR in the United States and licensor technology is being provided by UOP, Axens, and KT.

Enoc’s vice chairman, Saeed Al Tayer, stated that the project was “ambitious” but key to “the energy infrastructure sector to meet future demands and supports our sustainable growth in line with Dubai Plan 2021.”

The company’s chief financial officer, Petri Pentti, said on March 22 that the Dubai state-owned energy company could consider credit export agencies, a sukuk and debt markets to fund the refinery expansion. It would also likely rely on a significant amount of its own cash to finance the project, he said at the time. In 2015, Enoc secured a $1.5 billion facility. Company executives were not available for comment on Monday.

Enoc’s revenue dropped from $21 billion in 2014 to $15 billion in 2015, which, Pentti said, was due to weaker oil prices. At the same time, Enoc sold 16 per cent more petroleum and crude products in the period.

Pentti said in March that 2016 revenues were likely to be lower than the previous year.