Oman エチレン計画  

The petrochemical plant project is expected to have a 450,000 tonnes per annum ethylene cracker and a similar-sized polyethylene plant. British Petroleum (BP) will have a 49% stake with the Oman Oil Company holding 11% and the remaining 40% will be offered to the public in due course. One trillion cubic feet of gas, over a period of 25 years, has been allocated for the project. This and other projects are dependent on delivery of sufficient supplies of natural gas which are now being developed.

Sultanate has started showing interest to invest in petrochemical industry. Oman is proceeding with its plan to construct a large scale joint venture petrochemical project in Sohar for the production of polyethylene and fertilizers. Omani natural gas can be utilized by this project and would comprise an ethane cracker and polyethylene unit with an approximate capacity of 450,000 tons in a year. The plant is scheduled to start production between 2001 and 2002. British Petroleum is to own 40%-49% of the project under an agreement signed in 1996 and 40% will be sold in the Muscat Securities Market. An ethane pipeline is under construction to supply the petrochemical complex.

2004-2-20 Asia Chemical Weekly

Oman Oil to complete feasability study on C2 this year

Oman Oil Co expects to complete a feasibility study on its proposed cracker complex this year, according to a source close to the project. The source said many issues were still under study, including capacities and product slate.

He added that ethane would be used as feedstock for the project in Sohar, Oman.

Oman Oil was earlier considering building an
800 000-1m tonne/year cracker project, but has released few further details.

The company had pursued a
450 000 tonne/year cracker project jointly with BP in the mid-1990s, but the latter pulled out in 1999 because of insufficient gas supply. The project was to have obtained gas from local sources.

An industry source said that derivatives of the revived cracker project were likely to include low-density polyethylene (ldPE), high-density PE and linear ldPE.

It is understood that Oman Oil is seeking advice from financial institutions on lending issues for the project.

The project is still at a very early stage and no decision on the selection of a project-management consultant will be made this year. Startup is expected to be around the end of this decade.

Possible overseas and extra local gas sources could be the reason that Oman Oil is considering a larger cracker that would offer better economies of scale.

Oman receives gas from Qatar's Dolphin project, which is developing natural-gas reserves from Qatar's huge offshore North Field. Gas is transported from Qatar via pipeline to the United Arab Emirates and Oman mainly for heavy and power industries. Oman received its first gas delivery last month which will feed a new power station.

However, the gas issue could remain a hurdle because Oman needs to justify the extraction of ethane from non-associated gas, which contains mainly methane, from Qatar.

(European Chemical News. 11-18 March 2002)  

Oman plant to use Novolen technology

Oman's planned
340 000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) plant will be based on Novolen technology.

Novolen Technology Holdings will also supply catalysts and technical support on the project.

The planned PP facility, owned by a joint venture in which the government of Oman will be the majority shareholder, will be part of a 75 000 bbl/day refinery complex to be located in Sohar, Oman.

The other partners in the PP facility are
Korea's LG International and US-based ABB Lummus Global. A memorandum of understanding between the three partners was signed last month .

Once the plant comes onstream in 2006, the unit will be able to produce the entire range of PP homopolymers and special grades of random copolymers.

(European Chemical News. 4-11 March 2002)

LG to hold 20% stake in planned facility

LG International has signed a contract with Oman's Sohar Refinery Company to act as a foreign partner on a planned 340 000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) plant, which will be built in Sohar. LG said it will hold a 20% stake in the production plant. It is understood that ABB Lummus also has a stake in the proposed plant, which the two companies will jointly develop on a turnkey basis. Start up is slated for 2006. The proposed facility will be part of a refinery complex, which is currently out to tender among several EPC contractors.

At the same time, LG says it has secured the sales rights to the material through an offtake agreement. LG claims this is the first time a Korean company has secured such a deal. The company initially intends to market the polypropylene in China and then southeast Asia, and believes it can eventually generate annual sales of $170m from the deal.

Borealis, which had been shortlisted as a potential partner for the PP plant, said it had been genuinely interested in the project and was disappointed to have missed out on the opportunity to participate


Oman touts methanol plant by 2005; Vitol to market

 Oman is set to begin a major methanol project, a 5,000 mt/day plant, that will be completed by mid-2005, the Kuwait News Agency KUNA reported Sunday.
 The project partners of the new worldscale plant, the Oman Oil Co, Oman's al-Zawawi Est and Germany's Ferrostaal AG, have signed a memorandum of understanding with Vitol Holding BV that would make Vitol the offtake-marketer for the facility.
 Oman, which produces around 900,000 b/d of oil, initiated the methanol project as a means to diversify its income away from crude sales, which currently provide about 65% of the nation's earnings.

2003/1/19 Dow Jones Energy Service

Oman Plans Petchem Projects In 03 To Diversify Econ-Paper

The state-owned Oman Oil Co. is planning to set up industrial projects worth $3 billion this year as part of the government's drive to diversify beyond the oil sector, Dubai's Khaleej Times newspaper reported Sunday.

The projects include a $250-million
polypropylene plant with a production capacity of 340,000 tons a year. OOC will hold a 60% stake in the project.

"We have already invited banks to take part in the financing of the polypropylene plant," a company official told the newspaper. "The project has priority since we found a very responsive market in Asia," he added.

Foreign partners in the venture are South Korea's LG International Corp. and Hague-based ABB Lummus Global, each with 20%, he said.

The polypropylene plant will be built in Oman's Sohar region near a 75,000-barrel-a-day oil refinery and is expected to start production in 2006.

The OOC is also seeking a loan to partially finance a planned $426 million
methanol plant with two partners, local group Omzest and Germany's Ferrostaal AG (G.FST), the newspaper reported.

The project received a boost last year when Vitol Holdings (N.VTL) of the Netherlands agreed to buy the plant's entire 5,000-ton-a-day output, the report added.

In addition, OOC is negotiating with Engro Chemical Pakistan (C.ECP) to build a 850,000-ton-a-year
fertilizer plant.

"We are currently carrying out technical and financial feasibility studies before a final decision is made, which we hope will be in the third quarter of the year," the OCC official said.

The project will be Oman's third fertilizer plant. A joint venture between the governments of Oman and India is building a urea plant on the eastern coast of Sur in which OOC has a 20% stake.

For an estimated cost of $1,000 million Oman Oil Company, Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers (India) and Krishak Bharti Co-operative (India) are planning to establish an Ammonia and Urea Complex at Sur. OOC will have a 50% holding and the two Indian firms 25% each. A pipeline planned to serve the Oman LNG project is likely to supply the feedstock.

Local company Suhail Bahwan is planning to build another fertilizer plant at Sohar, the newspaper said.



Oman Oil Company announced that it had reached agreement with BP (PLC) to purchase its 49 per cent equity stake in BP Oman

Oman Oil Company announced that it had reached agreement with BP (PLC) to purchase its 49 per cent equity stake in BP Oman. BP Oman operations include a network of 74 service stations, lubricants and air services in Oman. OCC is a diversified energy investment company with investment both inside and outside Oman. The deal, which expected to be finalized in the next few weeks, is subject to the approval of the ministry of Commerce & Industry, the Capital Market Authority and other concerned authorities. BP will continue to have presence in the Management of BP Oman. BP will also maintain a strong presence in Oman through its downstream aviation, marine and other activities. Earlier this summer for example BP signed an agreement to buy petroleum products from Oman planned 116,000 b/d Sohar refinery which is due to begin production in 2006.


2004-3-5 Asia Chemical Weekly

S. Korea's LG International mulls EDC project in Oman

LG International (LGI) is considering building an ethylene dichloride (EDC) plant in Sohar, Oman, according to sources close to the project.

Two sources said LGI had appointed Nexant ChemSystems to conduct a feasibility study on the project, which is to be integrated with a chloralkali unit. The study, which has been completed, shows that the project is feasible, according to the sources. An LGI spokesman declined to comment on the project.

LGI is expected to partner state-owned Oman Oil Co (OOC) for the project. LGI and OOC might form a 40:60 joint venture or invite more partners to participate in the project, one source said.

The project would have a capacity of 300 000 tonne/year, which is of the same scale as LG Chem's previously announced EDC project in Australia, the source said. LG Chem abandoned the Australian project and is now considering alternative sites in China.

Ethylene feedstock could be sourced from National Petrochemical Co (NPC) of Iran until OOC's cracker project starts up, according to the source. The EDC project is slated to start up in 2007, but the cracker project is still under study and is unlikely to start up till around the end of this decade.

Salt for the chloralkali unit could also come from NPC, which is considering building a salt refinery near Sohar, the source said. He added that low electricity cost in Oman was another factor in favour of the project.

NPC declined to comment on its involvement in the EDC project and on whether it would invest in it.


Petro Chemical News 2004/4/15

LG Completes Oman EDC Study; Considering Potential Partners

LG International has completed a
feasibility study for a 300,000-t/y ethylene dichloride (EDC) plant in Sohar, Oman, and is considering possible joint venture partners for the project.
The company expects to begin talks soon with Oman Oil concerning their participation in the project and is also considering asking a local private company, such as Suhail Bahwan or Omzest, to take part, said local reports quoting an LG project official.
The project, costing $250-million or less, is projected to come on stream in 2007.
LG and Oman Oil, along with ABB Lummus Global, are currently building a
340,000-t/y polypropylene plant at Sohar.

2004年07月21日 Chemnet Tokyo           Dow release





 ダウは安価な原料を求めて中東での活動を広めており、クウェートではPIC(Petrochemical Industries Company)との石化JVを運営するほか、PICとの連携を深めるため、海外で2つのJVを設立している。

2004/7/20 Dow

The Government of the Sultanate of Oman, Oman Oil Company and The Dow Chemical Company Forming a Joint Venture to Build and Operate a Petrochemical Complex in Oman

The Government of the Sultanate of Oman, Oman Oil Company S.A.O.C. (OOC) and The Dow Chemical Company (DOW) announced today an agreement to form a joint venture that will design, build and operate a petrochemical complex in Oman.

The joint venture will be owned 50% by Dow, 25% by the Government of Oman and 25% by OOC.

Located in the Sohar Industrial Port Area, the petrochemical complex will comprise feedstock production facilities, a gas cracker, as well as three world-scale Polyethylene production units based on state-of-the-art catalyst and process technology. Further, the joint venture will facilitate the development of downstream industries in Oman that will convert polyethylene to end-products in Oman thus enhancing the level of job creation that will result from the complex.

"This project is a further milestone in the Omani Government's continuing efforts to develop Al Batinnah Region by promoting foreign investment which will contribute to job creation, in addition to laying the foundation for future downstream industries" said H.E. Ahmed Macki, the Minister of National Economy and Deputy Chairman of Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council.

H.E. Maqbool Ali Sultan, Oman's Minister of Commerce & Industry and Chairman of OOC added "With a strategic partner such as Dow, we are confident this project will be a success."

"This project is another important step in achieving Dow's strategy of having cost competitive geographic and product positions that will enable value growth," said William S. Stavropoulos, Chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company.

"This is a tremendous opportunity which provides significant access to cost-competitive feedstock to supply the fast-growing markets of Asia," said Andrew Liveris, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Dow Chemical Company, "The Middle East will play an increasingly strong role in the global petrochemical industry and this joint venture will expand Dow's presence in the region."

"This joint venture will combine the natural gas resources of Oman with Dow's state-of-the-art technology position, operational expertise and marketing know-how," said Romeo Kreinberg, Senior Vice President for Plastics, The Dow Chemical Company. "This combination will be the foundation of a strong and successful partnership that has tremendous potential to attract downstream customers, manufacturing opportunities and additional investments well into the future."

Construction of the petrochemical complex is expected to begin in 2005.

Oman Oil Company (OOC)
Oman Oil Company S.A.O.C. (OOC) is a commercial company 100 % owned by the Government of the Sultanate of Oman. The company was created in 1992 to give the Government another vehicle for pursuing investment opportunities in the energy sector both inside and outside Oman. Through participation in energy and energy related projects, OOC plays a role in the Sultanate's efforts to diversify the Omani economy and help generates Omani and foreign private sector investment. In Oman, OOC has interest in numerous projects that are either in operation, under construction or under development. These include gas transmission, petroleum retailing, refining, petrochemicals and aluminum smelting. Outside Oman, OOC has interests in exploration and production, crude oil pipelines and petroleum product logistics. For further information on OCC, please visit

The Dow Chemical Company (Dow)
The Dow Chemical Company is a leader in science and technology, providing innovative chemical, plastic and agricultural products and services to many essential consumer markets. With annual sales of $33 billion, Dow serves customers in more than 180 countries and a wide range of markets that are vital to human progress, including food, transportation, health and medicine, personal and home care, and building and construction, among others. Committed to the principles of sustainable development, Dow and its approximately 46,000 employees seek to balance economic, environmental and social responsibilities. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.

2004/09/21 三菱重工業


 三菱重工業は、双日の協力を得て、オマーンのソハール国際尿素・化学品工業社(Sohar International Urea & Chemical Industries)から、ソハール肥料コンプレックスの建設工事を受注、近く正式に契約する。受注金額は約5億ドルで、生産開始は2007年度下期の予定。オマーン向けプラント建設工事は今回が初めて。首都マスカット(Muscat)から北西約260kmに位置し、国際協力銀行のアンタイドローンにより造成されたソハール工業地区内に建設される。

日産2,000トンのアンモニア製造プラント、同3,500トンの尿素製造・造粒プラント、およびその関連設備から構成され、化学プロセスには、ハルダー・トプソ(デンマーク)、スナプロゲッティ(イタリア)、ヤラ ファーティライザー テクノロジー(ベルギー)の技術が使用される。

 ソハール国際尿素・化学品工業社は、オマーンの財閥であるスヘイル バウアン(
Suhail Bahwan)によって設立された。今回の肥料コンプレックス建設資金には、国際協力銀行と日本貿易保険の輸出信用によるプロジェクトファイナンスの供与が検討されている。供与が実現すれば、日本の公的信用機関による尿素製造プラント建設案件に対する初のプロジェクトファイナンスの適用となる。




2004/12/19 Oman Oil

Oman Oil Company signed with Gulf Investment Corporation for a 20% Share of Oman Polypropylene Company

Oman Oil Company S.A.O.C. (OOC) signed an agreement for the sale of a 20% interest in the US$ 313 million Oman Polypropylene LLC (OPP) to Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC), following the in principle agreementreached between the companies as per the announcement made in June 2004.

The agreement was signed on behalf of OOC by H.E. Maqbool Ali Sultan, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of OOC and Mr. Hisham Al Razzuqi, the Chief Executive Officer on behalf of GIC.

OPP is a joint venture between
OOC and LG International of Korea with 80% and 20% stakes respectively. The share of GIC will be carved out from OOCs 80% ownership in the Company and will entitle GIC for a seat on the Board of Directors of OPP.

H.E. Maqbool Ali Sultan, Minister of Commerce & Industry and OOC
s Chairman stated that the addition of GIC as an investor in OPP will further enhance the companys shareholding. The Minister further said that GICs investment in OPP comes in line with Oman Oil Company investment guidelines and ambition by facilitating foreign investment in the Sultanate.

The Chief Executive Officer of GIC, Mr. Hisham Al-Razzuqi also stated that on this occasion GIC is very pleased to be partners with Oman Oil Company in this important project. They are optimistic of OPP
s future and will continue to seek feasible investment opportunities that add value to Omans economy, and therefore enhance growth prospects. He also added that this fits perfectly with GICs mandate to support the development of private enterprise and economic growth in the GCC region.

OPP was established to construct and operate a polypropylene plant in Sohar Industrial Area with a capacity to produce
340,000 tonnes per annum of polypropylene product. The project, which is started as part of Sohar refinery complex, aims to add value to the propylenestream to produce a product that can be used in a large array of downstream industries.

Oman Oil Company signed with Gulf Investment Corporation for a 20% Share of Oman Polypropylene Company

The plant is being constructed on EPC basis by a consortium of LG International Cooperation and LG Engineering & Construction Corporation. The plant is expected to directly employ 160 people at operation with tens of other jobs indirectly in activities outsourced to supporting contractors.

Oman Polypropylene will market production in the Indian subcontinent, Iran, Middle East and east and southern Africa and LG International will be the marketer in the rest of international markets. Initially, ninety per cent of the production will be exported and the remaining 10 per cent will meet the existing domestic requirements. However, OPP hopes to encourage the domestic utilization in the downstream sector and to increase its allocation for the domestic use beyond the presently envisaged ratio of 10%.

The plant will commence commercial production in the third quarter of 2006.

Gulf Investment Corporation

Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) was established in 1983 and is equally owned by six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC):
Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Its mission is to support regional cooperation and to stimulate private enterprise in the GCC region. With an authorized capital base of US$ 2.1 billion GICs balance sheet assets stood at US$ 6.6 billion at the end of 2003 and shareholdersequity were US$ 1,285.9 million.

Platts 2005/2/22

UAE's Mubadala joins Oman methanol project at Salalah

State-owned Oman Oil Co. (OOC) and the UAE's Mubadala Development Co. have reached agreement to develop jointly a planned methanol project in the port of Salalah in the sultanate of Oman, the companies said in a statement Tuesday.
The Accession Agreement for state-owned Mubadala's participation as a shareholder was signed in Oman and is subject to final sanction, the statement said.

The project will entail the development, construction and operation of a 3,000 mt/day state-of-the-art methanol plant, using as feedstock natural gas supplied by the Oman gas Co. "We are excited about the opportunity to support the development of such an important project for Salalah and to grow Mubadala's portfolio of energy investments in Oman," said Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Mubadala's chief operating officer. Oman Oil Co CEO Ahmed Bin Salim Al Wahaibi said the Omani company looked forward to future cooperation between Oman Oil and Mubadala in the development of energy projects and the region.

Platts 2005/12/5

New Oman petchem plants, oil refinery powering to early start-ups

polypropylene, benzene and paraxylene plants planned for Oman's industrial development zone in Sohar are powering towards early start-ups, Oman Polypropylene LLC CEO Mohammed Benayoune said in Muscat, Oman on Monday.
The petrochemicals units represent a key plank in Oman's push to diversify its economy away from simply selling crude oil and natural gas, and they are being driven on quickly by a determination at government level to get things done quickly, he said.
"One of the main objectives is to use these plants for downstream converting industries," said Benayoune. The aim of the Omani government is to "add as much value within the country as possible" to crude and gas before it is exported, he told a Middle East Aromatics and Derivatives Markets conference in Muscat, organized by Singapore-based CMT.
Benayoune said the
340,000mt/year Sohar polypropylene plant was 75% complete in construction, and was set for commissioning in May or June next year. Full commercial production is set to start in July, two months ahead of schedule.
While Oman hopes to expand further downstream in coming years, at first 90% of the product from the plant will be exported.
Oman Polypropylene, which is 60% owned by government-run Oman Oil Co (20% Gulf Investment Corporation and 20% LG International of Korea), has previously stated that OOC will market the new production in the Indian subcontinent, Iran, the Middle East and Africa. LG International is set to market polypropylene from the project to the rest of the international market.
On the
810,000mt/year paraxylene and 210,000mt/year benzene plants for Sohar, Benayoune said progress on the design and contracting of the units had been exceptionally fast since they were first dreamt up in late 2004. OOC, which also owns 60% of Oman Aromatics (the operator of the new plants), gave its approval for a business plan in the fourth quarter of 2004, approved commercial terms in April 2005, and the project was fully committed on Sep 16.
According to Benayoune, Sohar's PX and benzene units will now likely be commissioned by September 2008, and be in full commercial production by December.
The marketing of the benzene and PX will be carried out by the project's owners.
LG International, which also holds 20% in Oman Aromatics (Oman Refinery Co owns the remaining 20%), will take 20% of the aromatics output and find a home for it in eastern Asian markets. OOC has committed to marketing the other 80%, and will likely try to do so through a new trading joint venture it plans to launch with international trading company Vitol in 2006.
The creation of the new trading company, likely to be named Oman Energy Trading, was announced in September when OOC unveiled a five-year deal with Vitol to market refined products from the Sohar refinery starting in the middle of 2006.
Meanwhile, a
74,260 b/d residue fluid catalytic cracker at the new Sohar oil refinery is set to move into production early next year to support the new polypropylene complex. An official from Sohar Refining Co, the operating company in charge of the new refinery, said on the sidelines of the conference that the refinery's main cracking unit was expected to be running at commercial levels by May or June. In September, an official from Oman's Ministry of Oil and Gas told Platts that the refinery would look to begin its start-up process in March--a development that led the Omani government to notify crude oil lifters earlier this year that it would cut crude export volumes by 20% from Jan 1, 2006.
The Sohar refinery will become
Oman's second after the nearby 85,000 b/d capacity Mina al-Fahal refinery. Mina al-Fahal itself, which is operated by Oman Refinery Co, has been slated for an eventual expansion in capacity to 106,000 b/d. OMR plans to link Mina al-Fahal to the Soar complex with a 277-km pipeline to ship over a mixed feedstock of crude and long residue from the Oman Refinery to Sohar for processing.
The new refinery, polypropylene unit and aromatics complex have received full backing from the Omani government, which is mindful of its declining crude oil production and limited natural gas resources. Opening CMT's conference on Monday, Oman Undersecretary for Oil and Gas Nasser bin Ali al-Jashmi said the country was determined to refine a reprocess as much of its own hydrocarbons as it can in the coming years. The push will also eventually include a second fertilizer complex in Oman, an ethylene complex and a methanol complex.
"Our aim is to see more raw materials leave Oman as finished products," said the ministry official, "and make more dollars per barrel of oil." The country is also keen to develop more high-paying jobs for its young workforce, and eventually establish the kind of knowledge-based job economy that could sustain Oman after its primary energy production moves into long-term decline.
Oman, a non-OPEC Gulf producer, has been suffering from declining crude oil production in recent years because of problems with its reservoirs. Oman's average crude production for the first six months of 2005 stood at 774,200 b/d, down from 783,300 b/d for the same period in 2004, according to statistics from the country's economics ministry.

2005/12/10 Oman Oil

Oman Oil Company Acquires 30% Equity in Qingdao Lidong Chemical Co. Ltd  青島麗東化学

Oman Oil Company S.A.O.C. (OOC) acquired 30% equity interest in the Qingdao Lidong Chemical Co. Ltd (QLCC”青島麗東化学工業), an aromatics petrochemical plant, promoted by the GS Group, in the Peoples Republic of China.
The agreement was signed on behalf of OOC by H.E. Ahmed AbdulNabi Macki, Minister of National Economy and Deputy Chairman of Financial Affairs & Energy Resources Council, and Eng. Ahmed Salim Al Wahaibi, Chief Executive Officer of OOC, who are currently visiting South Korea. On behalf of GS Group, the agreement was signed Dr. D.S. Hur, the Chairman of the Group.

On the occasion of the signing, H.E. Ahmed AbdulNabi Macki stated that
this is the second investment for OOC in the Peoples Republic of China, which is in line with the strategic objectives of the Company. China is considered as one of the fastest growing economies in the world and it has become a major player in the global economy.

The QLCC petrochemical plant has a capacity to produce 700,000 mtpa of Paraxylene, 250,000 mtpa of Benzene, 150,000 mtpa of Toluene and 113,000 mtpa of Raffinate. The feedstock for the project will be supplied by one of the refineries owned by the GS Group.

As per the revised ownership structure, QLCC is owned
60% by LG Aromatics, 30% by OOC and 10% by Red Star Chemical Group Ltd. The plant is located in the Qingdao province in China, the area that was specifically developed as a specialized petrochemical investment zone with special tax exemptions and proximity to Korea, which is the major source for the feedstock.

The ceremony was attended by H.E. Moosa bin Hamdan Al Taei, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman in South Korea as well as other members of the Delegation.

Oman Oil Company S.A.O.C. (OOC) is a commercial company 100% owned by the Government of the Sultanate of Oman. The company was created in 1992 to give the Government another vehicle for pursuing investment opportunities in the energy sector both inside and outside Oman. Through participation in energy and energy related projects, OOC plays a role in the Sultanate's efforts to diversify the Omani economy and help generates Omani and foreign private sector investment. In Oman, OOC has interest in numerous projects that are either in operation, under construction or under development. These include gas transmission, petroleum retailing, refining, petrochemicals and aluminium smelting. Outside Oman, OOC has interests in exploration and production, crude oil pipelines and petroleum product logistics.


Large chemical JV set up in Qingdao

A large production base of aromatic hydrocarbon with an investment of US$400 million from Republic of Korea-based LG settled recently in Qingdao, a coastal city in eastern China`s Shandong Province.

LG dominates the newly-established joint venture, named Qingdao Lidong Chemical Industry, by providing 90 percent of the total investment. The venture, under construction since this March, was scheduled to go into production in early 2006 and will mainly offer such products as benzene and toluene.

According to Sha Hong, an official with the Qingdao Foreign Trade and Economic Bureau, the joint venture is the largest foreign-funded production project ever established in the city.

So far, there are 5,300 foreign-funded companies in Qingdao, which utilized US$947 million of foreign investment in the first quarter of this year, up 73.4 percent over the same time last year.

Platts 2006/11/15

Oman Polypropylene plans on-spec PP production end-Nov/early-Dec

Oman Polypropylene was planning to start production of specification grade material at its new 340,000 mt/year polypropylene plant at Sohar by the end of November or early December, a source close to the company said Wednesday.
The company had started working up the plant in early November, but the source said it would likely be another couple of weeks before it was fully operational.
The plant's startup had been delayed several times, with trial runs first being made at the end of July. However, soon after the unit's first startup, the plant was shut down due to "minor technical issues," another source close to the company said earlier.
Oman PP is 60% owned by government-run Oman Oil Company, 20% by Gulf Investment Corporation and 20% by LG International.


Oman shelves big petchem JV with Dow

Oman Petrochemical Industries Corp. (OPIC; Muscat) has indefinitely postponed plans to build a petrochemical complex at Sohar, Oman, due to escalating costs, sources say. OPIC, a joint venture in which Dow Chemical holds 50% and the government of Oman and Oman Oil Co. each hold 25%, originally planned to have the complex onstream in 2008-09. But costs have almost doubled, to $4.5 billion, from original estimates of $2.6 billion, making the project too expensive for the partners to proceed, sources say.

Another doubt was whether gas was available in sufficient quantities to support the project, sources add. OPIC has informed contractors that it has shelved the plans, which sources say are unlikely to be revived.

The project would have included gas extraction facilities at Fahud, and a 400-km pipeline from Fahud to Sohar, where a gas fractionation unit, an
ethylene plant, and three polyethylene (PE) facilities were planned. ABB Lummus Global was bidding for the gas extraction facilities; CCC (Athens) for the pipeline; and Technip for the gas fractionation and ethylene plants. Dow had been expected to supply the PE units. Petrofac (London), Saipem, and Technip were competing for the offsites and utilities.

2007/9/25 Platts

Oman Salalah Methanol concludes financing deal for methanol plant

Oman's Salalah Methanol Company signed a financing deal for the construction of a 1 million mt/year methanol, according to an announcement Monday by its parent, Oman Oil Company.

The plant, to be built in the
Salalah Free Zone, was expected to be operational in early 2010, the company said.

The agreement was signed between Salalah Methanol Company and a group of lenders including local, regional and international commercial banks for the financing of 65% of the total project cost, with the remainder provided by Oman Oil Company.

The total costs of the project were expected to mount to Oman Rials 350 million ($910 million).

Salalah Methanol was
founded in February 2006 and is the first wholly owned subsidiary of Oman Oil Company within Oman, the company said.

It will be using Johnson Matthey methanol production technology licensed by Jacobs Consultancy of the UK.

The EPC contract was awarded to GS E&C of Korea in March and the contract became effective in April. The engineering and procurement effort is continuing in Seoul with major equipment already in order.

The methanol production facility will include power generation, water desalination as well as construction of seawater intake and supply facilities.

Construction work force is expected to peak at 2000 people in mid-2008.

The feedstock is supplied by Ministry of Oil and Gas through the existing pipeline that is already operational, owned and operated by Oman Gas Company.

Earlier this month Oman Shipping Company set up a joint venture with Emirates Trading Agency to transport the methanol products from the existing berths in Salalah.

Oman Trading International will be the sole off taker of the methanol which will be traded in the international markets.

Al Bawaba  2007/11/4

Octal Petrochemicals signs US$166.5 million loan facility with BankMuscat

Oman-based Octal Petrochemicals completed the initial phase of financing today for its groundbreaking plastic packaging venture in Salalah Free Zone.

Octal Chairman, Sheikh Saad Suhail Bahwan, and BankMuscat Chief Executive, AbdulRazak Ali Issa, formally agreed a US$166.5 million loan facility for Octals APET(amorphous 非晶質) sheet packaging plant, which is aiming for a 20 per cent share of the global market for APET.

The facility is made up of a US$148.5 million term loan, of which US$34.5 million has been syndicated to Bank Dhofar, and US$18 million in working capital. Financing was raised in three stages over the last year and completes Octals initial US$300 million investment in proprietary technology and custom-made production lines.

Sheikh Saad Suhail Bahwan said: Octal is redefining the global plastic packaging industry and the initiative is taking place here in Oman, with Omani investors and the support of government. Octal is expected to be the largest exporter from the port of Salalah, a growing employer and a significant investor in local suppliers.

He said: This is a world-class, US$1 billion company taking shape in Oman and were delighted to have the support of BankMuscat as our financial advisor. Our initial US$300 million investment has been arranged on a 50:50 debt equity basis, which allows us to expand at speed. The equity placement was significantly oversubscribed which shows the enthusiasm of the local market.

AbdulRazak Ali Issa of BankMuscat added: Octal is a flagship venture for Oman and one which clearly demonstrates the growing competitiveness of the Sultanate, in terms of both its geographic location and economic flexibility. We are proud to be associated with the project and believe in its financial viability.

Octals Oman-based investors include NIFCO (National Investment Fund Company), Muscat Overseas, Oman Investment Company, Malatan Trading and Contracting, Oman and Emirates Investment Holding, Suhail Bahwan Group, DIDIC, as well as BankMuscat. Individual and institutional investors in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the US are also committed to the project.

Octal Petrochemicals expects sales of its APET (amorphous polyethylene terephthalate) sheet packaging to reach US$500 million per annum by the end of next year. Production capacity now stands at 30,000 metric tons per annum (tpa), but that figure will exceed 300,000 tpa by June 2008 as Octal corners a fifth of the world market for APET sheet, which was valued at US$2.25 billion last year.

The move to develop one of the worlds fastest growing packaging companies in Oman responds to the increasing use of clear rigid plastic packaging for consumer products, convenience foods and merchandising. APETs clarity, gloss and toughness make it ideal for goods that require protection and shelf impact, and the product is completely recyclable.

Rashid Saif Al Sadi, Director of Octal Petrochemicals, said: We have addressed significant cost and quality shortfalls in regular APET sheet manufacture to deliver a highly competitive solution to the growing packaging requirements of regional and global clients. Octal already has 40 customers, mostly in the UK, Europe and North America, and exports to China have just started.

North America is a prime target for Octal. Omans total non-oil exports to the US were RO15.6 million in 2006, and Octal alone aims to increase that figure five-fold by the end of next year.

Octal is the first investor to build a plant in Salalah Free Zone and production started in December 2006. The built-up area of the plant, located less than one kilometre from the port of Salalah, will reach 135,000 square metres when an integrated PET resin and APET sheet complex comes on stream next April.

Octals Managing Director Nicholas Barakat said: Were excited to be the first company in Salalah Free Zone and proud that more than a third of our 75-strong workforce is from Oman.

He said: Oman was selected for the Octal complex because of its excellent location on the East-West shipping lanes, which enables us to reach key destinations around the world within 18 days. The Sultanate also provides ready access to raw materials.

We have 500,000 square metres of land on which to expand our operations, and ambitious growth plans in place that will see Octal compete internationally and make a major contribution to the local economy.

March 26, 2008 Octal

OCTAL'S new PET plastic platn to feature direct to sheet technology
 Simplified Manufacturing Process to Produce Most Consistent Sheet in World

Octal ( has revealed details of its direct to sheet (DTS) APET plastic manufacturing process which constitutes a significant departure from traditional manufacturing processes - both in terms of manufacturing efficiency and product quality.

The new complex, located in the Salalah Free Trade Zone in Oman, is funded by an initial $300 million investment in proprietary technology and custom-made production lines. The 330,000 metric ton PET resin and APET sheet facility is scheduled to start-up in August 2008. Octal is focused on PET resin for bottles (150,000 tons per annum (tpa)) and APET sheet (180,000 tpa) as the continuing trend towards convenience living is driving strong growth in both beverage and prepared foods packaging. APET is emerging as the strongest overall performer from the standpoint of mechanical and optical performance as well as recyclability.

New Process Eliminates Manufacturing Steps and Reheating

Octal's investment is based on a manufacturing process that provides a quantum leap in manufacturing efficiency and quality. This significant strategic innovation expands the universe of clear rigid packaging applications available to APET, growing opportunities for thermoformers and food and consumer product packagers, alike. Octal's express intent is to rewrite the playbook for value in APET packaging by leveraging game-changing technology to produce a product that allows downstream processors to extract cost from their processes and benefit from APET's superior mechanical and optical properties.

Octal's proprietary DTS technology simplifies the traditional manufacturing process that typically requires the use of granulated resin from a third-party supplier. After delivery, the resin is dried in a four-to-six hour energy-intensive operation before being fed into the extruder. From there, the extruder compresses and heats the resin into a melt, which is then transferred to the die and onto the rollers to manufacture APET sheets.

"Octal's new DTS technology eliminates two energy intensive processes: resin drying and resin reheating or remelting, which together account for the majority of energy consumption and resin degradation, said Karl Stöger, SML Maschinengsellschaft of Austria, supplier of key sheet line components.

PJ Corcoran, Octal's converted products manager adds, "With the melt already heated to the proper temperature, it arrives at the calendar stacks without having to be dried and remelted from the granular form. This means there is no chance for contamination to enter the system and ensures a finished polymer that is fully devoid of moisture, eliminating all moisture-related defects. This is especially salient for food processors, which can be absolutely assured of product purity. Only a direct to sheet system can make such a claim. Finally, there is absolute traceability as the resin is mechanically constrained to one source for a mono layer sheet - there can be no question as to the origin of the resin and its quality."

"With less polymer degradation, we expect a pick up in both gloss, clarity and stiffness levels," said Mr. Stöger. "The integrity of the polymer is ideal for the sheet casting process, as the tighter the uniformity upstream, the tighter the mechanical and optical properties downstream. The uniformity of the sheet also allowed us to design a winder that constructs precision rolls with virtually unnoticeable weave and nearly perfect formation. We know that thermoformers benefit from this by being able to minimize side trim, which is a direct material savings."

Octal has engaged Fluor Enterprise, Inc. as its owner engineer and technology consultant. Fluor was also selected to manage the construction of the PET and APET sheet site in Salalah, Oman.

Mag Fouad, vice president of Chemical Technology for Fluor said, "The process linking the resin-making to the converting lines is proven in other applications and is highly robust. The uniformity of the resin fed to the sheet lines will be very tightly controlled, therefore the resulting sheet rolls will be uniform from lot to lot. This innovative approach introduced by Octal has clear advantages, not only in operating cost and low consumption of energy, but in being an environmentally conscious and forward-looking organization."

Additionally, the technology reduces the energy footprint and enables a very compact construction footprint for economies in construction materials and real estate.

Early Customers Already Converting Octal APET Sheet

Octal's additional 300,000 metric ton per year site is actually the second step in a carefully planned phased investment process. In fact, Octal started initial operations with a smaller scale traditional extrusion plant in December 2006. With a capacity of 30,000 metric tons, it has been custom engineered to deliver superior quality APET sheet with consistent gauge, gloss and transparency. Octal has entered both the European and North American markets with this capacity and has been successful in validating the benefits of its precision sheet.

Numerous thermoformers in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, India and China are experiencing sizable yield savings and appearance improvements. A large U.S. bakery, that has backward integrated into thermoforming its own trays, has selected Octal as its sole supplier for the sheet's visual appeal and reliable processing. Octal's scale will afford unlimited upside potential for supporting global packaging initiatives, and its reliable consistency will deliver the confidence for a large share of use at individual accounts.

About Octal Holding SAOC

Octal Holding SAOC (, established in 2006, is rapidly becoming the world's largest producer of APET sheet, delivering to brands and the packaging industry superior gauge control, gloss and transparency for rigid plastic packages. It is also in the process of becoming the largest manufacturer of PET in the Middle East. The company is setting the standard in APET packaging through its patented technology and proprietary processes, featuring the tightest gauge control and tolerances in the industry. With state-of-the-art manufacturing based in the Middle East, Octal has sales and customer support operations in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Apr 14, 2008 McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX

Octal Petrochemicals to add 500,000 tpa of PET capacity

Octal Petrochemicals will add 500,000 metric tons of production capacity in PET resins by May 2010, making it one of the world's largest polyester producers with 800,000 metric tons of annual capacity.
Octal Chairman Sheikh Saad Suhail Bahwan said the company's second-phase expansion will make it the largest polyester manufacturer in the Middle East and one of the biggest outside of China on one site.
Octal's integrated PET resin and APET sheet facility in the southeast city of Salalah will ramp up the new production capacity in two stages:
250,000 metric tons by March 2010 and the remaining 250,000 by May of that year. The company is targeting the soft drink and bottled water markets in Europe, the US and Middle East through its move into PET.
Sheikh Saad said: "Between 2009 and 2012 more than 20 million metric tons of plastic raw materials capacity will come on-stream in the Gulf. Octal is harnessing the region's strategic advantage and Salalah's unique location to deliver major growth in PET resin production for export as well as significant cost savings through our integrated, one-site operational model."
Sheikh Saad said: "Octal is fulfilling its expansion strategy to become a homegrown global petrochemicals leader. Phase one saw our entry into APET sheet for global export. Phase two will be a major step forward in PET resin production, and phase three will complete the integration of our state-of-the-art facility, realizing unprecedented cost and quality advantages."
Speaking at the Oman Economic Forum in Muscat today, Octal Managing Director Nicholas Barakat said: "Preliminary funding for phase two is already in place. Around US$18 million has been allocated for long-lead items and engineering work."
Fluor Corporation has been retained as technical advisor for the expansion and is preparing bid packages for the construction. BankMuscat will continue to serve as financial advisor.
Mag Fouad, Vice President of Technology at Fluor, said: "Octal is progressing towards the goal set at its outset in 2005 to become the largest and lowest-cost polyester company in the Middle East, a region where the key raw materials for PET are readily available."
Octal's phase-one facility is nearing completion and will produce 150,000 metric tons per annum (tpa) of PET by the end of 2008. By that time, the plant's total combined production capacity of PET and APET sheet will have reached 330,000 tpa.
Nicholas Barakat of Octal said: "The infrastructure for the second phase, thanks to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Salalah Free Zone, is now ready. The first MEG tank of the liquid chemicals terminal is complete, water treatment facilities are in place, and we have secured the environmental permits for the capacity increase."
Based at Salalah Free Zone, Octal Petrochemicals' integrated PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and APET (amorphous polyethylene terephthalate) production plant is being built at an initial cost of US$300 million.
Total investment on the site is set to rise to as much as US$1 billion upon completion. Global export sales capacity is expected to reach US$500 million by the end of this year and net exports will reach US$1.1 billion with the completion of phase three.
Awadh Alshanfari, Chief Executive Officer of Salalah Free Zone Company SAOC, said: "We are proud of our association with Octal's project and emphasize the free zone's commitment to its customers and growth plans. Octal's project is an important milestone for the free zone as it establishes itself as a major hub for global trade."