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Tunisia - Regional Depot.

ETAP buys fuels from a regional depot at La Skhira. The depot was doubled in capacity in the mid-1980s by a JV led by Paktank Europa, which in 1983 was granted a 50-year concession to build and operate the facility.

The depot is part of a duty-free zone, where companies get exceptional tax and duty exemptions.

The depot consists of 2.85m barrels in storage units for heavy fuel oil, gasoil, gasoline, kerosine, naphtha and petrochemicals. They were expanded in 1998 from 1.9m barrels.

The fuels come mostly from the export refineries of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and partly from Mediterranean refineries. Occasionally, quantities come from Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

There are units at the depot which store methanol, LLDPE and HDPE and other chemicals bound for Europe from Saudi Arabia. The facilities include a blending plant, convenient for companies trading in certain products bound for specific Mediterranean and European markets.

Paktank holds 47% in the JV. Its partners are: Societe Tuniso-Seoudienne d'Investissement et de Developpement (20%), OAPEC's Apicorp (20%), ETAP (5%), and Banque Tuniso-Koweitienne de Developpement (8%). The operator is Paktank Mediterranee.

Paktank Europa is a major player in Rotterdam.

Power Links; Electricity & Gas Exports Planned: Tunisia is part of a trans-Maghreb plan to link the power grids of the five North African states to those of Spain and the rest of the EU. An integrated North African power line will stretch from Morocco to Egypt.

Tunisia is to have a 1,200MW power export plant built as an IPP being promoted by STEG. Of this, 800MW will be exported to Sicily through a marine cable to run along the TransMed route.

For its part, ETAP is hoping that surplus production of natural gas in the coming years will enable the country to export 4 MCM/day to Sicily, for the Italian market from early 2013. It is not yet clear whether this volume will be added to TransMed's supply system to Sicily or Etap would have a separate marine pipeline to run along this system.

However, independent experts say it would be much better for Etap to use the TransMed line if this is possible, because sooner or later Tunisia will have to use all the natural gas it can get to meet the growing needs of the domestic market during the next decade.
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Publication:APS Review Oil Market Trends
Date:Apr 16, 2012
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