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Saudi firms win Ivory Coast fuel storage deal

GESTOCI to invest about $400 million over the next five years to double its capacity for storing petroleum products to 680,000 cubic metres.


October 27, 2010 10:59 by

Ivory Coast fuel storage company GESTOCI said on Tuesday it had awarded a provisional contract worth up to $400 million to two Saudi companies for projects to double its capacity.

Pipeline contractor Faysal M Qahtani Sons (FMQ) and Global Trading Group will help finance and build the projects, which include the rebuilding of a 60,000 cubic metre unit in the central town of Bouake, which was destroyed by rebels in 2002-2003, and a new unit at the port of San Pedro.

“The preliminary deal signed with FMQ and Global Trading Group to finance the different sites is worth between $350 (million) and $400 million,” GESTOCI Director General Michel Dibi-N’Guettia Kouamé told Reuters.

“We continue to work together towards a formal agreement.”

GESTOCI said last month it would invest about $400 million over the next five years to double its capacity for storing petroleum products to 680,000 cubic metres, with half of that to be spent on the new San Pedro unit at 250,000 cubic metres.

The West African nation faces presidential elections in less than a week, which many hope will usher in its first stable government in a decade as well as badly needed investment that fled during years of crisis.

GESTOCI is 12.5 percent owned by the Ivorian government, and the rest owned by five oil companies with local outlets: Total , Shell , Chevron subsidiary Texaco, Oil Libya and Ivorian parastatal Petroci.

The new San Pedro unit, scheduled to be completed within two years, will be located at a major export hub, which handles around half of the cocoa shipped from the world’s top producer.

Ivory Coast produces only a small amount of oil, about 60,000 barrels a day, but is home to one of Africa’s biggest oil refineries — the 80,000 barrel-per-day SIR plant.

The company stores fuel for a number of energy companies from Europe, the United States and Nigeria and serves half a dozen oil importing countries in the region.

(Reporting by Ange Aboa; Writing by Tim Cocks, editing by Jane Baird)


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