SMEC wins contract to design and implement oil terminal for Ethiopia

28 June 2018 3 min. read

Australian infrastructure consulting firm SMEC has been tasked with developing the operational design and the implementation of an ETB 3 billion oil terminal in Ethiopia’s Dukem region. The contract – signed with the Ethiopian Petroleum Supply Enterprise – is worth a total of ETB 250 million. 

As a subsidiary of Singapore-based Surbana Jurong, SMEC has access to a substantial network of firms active in the infrastructure domain across the world. The firm specialises in large-scale infrastructure projects, and its services are supplemented by the expertise in urban planning and industrial development that is prevalent at Surbana Jurong.

SMEC’s international operations include 120 offices situated across more than 40 countries, employing a total of 13,500 professionals. With such an expansive network, it was only a matter of time before the firm got involved in the flurry of energy projects that are currently underway in Africa.

Despite being a rapidly developing regional economy, the continent suffers from a severe lack of infrastructure funding, amounting to over $100 billion. Nevertheless, nearly every major economy in Africa has been pumping resources into the development of large energy projects this year, the support for which has been coming largely from the consulting industry.

Ethiopia has been among the host of African states that are ramping up their infrastructural development. The country recently released a request for proposals for the Melka Sedi Thermal Power Project, which is expected to add up to 140,000 megawatts of capacity to Ethiopia’s power supply.

SMEC wins contract to design and implement oil terminal for Ethiopia

Now, the Ethiopian Petroleum Supply Enterprise (EPSE) is looking to bolster its oil drilling and distribution systems through the execution of the Depot Construction Master Development Programme, which involves plans for the construction of four oil depots across the country. The plan was rolled out to meet the ever-expanding oil demand in Ethiopia, which grows by 10% annually, and was last recorded at 3.5 million tonnes in 2017.

The latest of these additions is a state-of-the-art oil terminal in the Dukem region of Ethiopia. The new terminal will have a total capacity of 240 million litres, which is particularly impressive given the fact that the country’s existing 13 terminals cumulatively generate just under 370 million litres.

In relative terms, the new addition will bring about a 65% increase in the country’s reserving capacity, and will simultaneously increase the possible duration of storage from 36 days to 65 days. In addition to storing oil, the plant will also receive and dispatch reserves in accordance with regional demand.

Types of oil that will be contained in the new terminal include diesel, gasoline, ethanol and aviation turbine fuel, the last of which will be controlled through an automated system. The terminal will also distribute petroleum, and currently has supply agreements with 24 petroleum firms, 17 of which are Ethiopian.

SMEC is set to assist with the entire development process for the new terminal. The first stage of the contract – worth just over ETB 55 miilion – involves the development of the terminal’s design, which is expected to take a maximum of ten months. Thereafter, the firm will carry out the final ETB 200 million of the contract by helping the EPSE select a contractor, and then supervising the implementation of the project.