Tunisia - The Logistics.
An important part of Algeria's crude oil movements pass through La Skhira as it is the terminal for the Algerian pipeline from In Amenas in the south of the neighbouring country. El-Borma crude oil exports move through a spur line connected to the pipeline which links Zarzaitine and Edjeleh oilfields in Algeria to La Skhira.
La Skhira has two loading berths on both sides of a jetty which can serve tankers of up to 120,000 dwt, with a maximum rate of loading and unloading of 10,000 tons per hour. In addition, there is a phosphoric acid plant at the terminal run by a Tunisian-Kuwaiti venture.
The terminal at the depleted offshore Ashtart field in the Gulf of Gabes has two deep-water berths and a crude oil loading capacity of 3,000 t/hour. The PC-1 loading unit consists of a 120,000 ton storage barge moored to a buoy serving tankers of up to 70,000 dwt. PC-2 is linked to an SBM serving tankers of up to 150,000 dwt.
The port of Gabes has a terminal for crude, oil products and LPG serving tankers of up to 50,000 dwt. It has a quay for unloading caustic soda and fuels, and facilities for loading chemicals and fertilisers produced at a nearby plant.
The port of Sfax terminal for oil products and LPG serves tankers of up to 50,000 dwt.
The port near the Bizerte refinery has the country's fifth terminal.
There are a number of pipelines linking the oilfields to the terminals. Pipelines for distribution of gas to local users exceed 1,000 km. The grid has been revamped with a remote-control system and mostly converted to methane by Societa Italiana per il Gas (Italgas).
The methane is supplied to users in industry and households from Tunis to Cap Bon, from Tunis to Bizerte, from Gabes to Sousse, from Gafsa to Kasserine, from Kasserine to cement plants at Tajerouine, from Hammamet to Nabeul where the users are mainly tourist resorts on the coast, and from Monastir to a power plant and factories at Sousse.
A 237-km line taking methane from the offshore gas fields Miskar and Hasdrubal runs from Gabes to Msaken.
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.