South Korea has set up a joint venture to complete the first phase of a new oil terminal at the port of Ulsan by 2017, at a cost of 622.2 billion won ($582.39 million), to help the country become a global oil hub, the energy ministry said on Thursday.
South Korea, the world's No.5 crude importer, has started construction of the new oil terminal with a total capacity of 28.4 million barrels in Ulsan, about 383 km (238 miles) south of the capital, Seoul.
The plan provides for the terminal to be built in two phases, with the first, known as the North Port, having a capacity of 9.9 million barrels over an area of 295,000 sq. m. to store oil products.
The energy ministry said in a statement the joint venture, Korea Oil Terminal Co Ltd, involved Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC), Vopak Group and S-Oil Corp.
KNOC has a 51 percent stake in the venture, with Vopak holding 38 percent and S-Oil 11 percent, the ministry said, adding that it planned to include two or three more companies in future, by adjusting the stakes of KNOC and Vopak.
The first phase is set to be completed by 2017 and will be ready for operations after that, it said.
For the second phase, or the South Port, with a capacity of 18.5 million barrels of crude oil storage over an area of 604,000 sq. m., the ministry aims to invest 994.8 billion won ($931.16 million) by 2020 and set up a separate joint venture.
It added it would ease regulations to boost the oil trading business and improve oil trade-related financial services.
$1=1068.3500 Korean won
Copyright Reuters 2014.