Sohar PTA/PET Project Financial Close by Mid-Year

Source: Oman Observer 3/1/2015, Location: Middle East

Oman International Petrochemical Industries Company (OMPET), a subsidiary of Oman Oil Company — the wholly Omani government-owned energy and strategic investment vehicle — is targeting financial close on its estimated $600 million purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) complex at Sohar Port by the middle of this year. Financial closure is one of several milestones set out by the company for implementation over the course of this year ahead of the start of construction work on the world-scale project before the end of the year.

The latest addition to Sohar Port’s burgeoning petrochemicals cluster, the OMPET project is essentially an integrated complex comprising a 1.1 million tonnes per annum (tpa) capacity Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) plant alongside a 250,000 tonnes per annum capacity Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) facility. The complex is proposed to be built adjacent to the aromatics plant of Oman Oil Refineries & Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) within the industrial port.

Already, significant headway has been made in preparing the ground for the implementation of the project on an engineering — procurement — construction (EPC) basis. An Invitation to Prequalify (ITP) was issued by OMPET last on December 22, 2014 with a contract slated for award around June 2015. The front-end engineering design (FEED) for the PTA and PET plants, as well as the utilities and offsite works, was also completed last October.

According to officials, technology licence agreements have already been inked with Uhde Inventa-Fischer (UIF) for PET proprietary technology, and with BP for the PTA production know-how. Worley Parsons Oman is the Project Management Consultant for the overall project. As for financial closure, OMPET has set June 30, 2015 as the deadline for achieving this objective.

Conceived in line with the government’s goal to maximise returns on the Sultanate’s hydrocarbon resources, the OMPET project will utilise paraxylene from Orpic’s aromatic plant as feedstock in the manufacture of PTA. Part of this PTA output will be utilised in the manufa-cture of PET. Purified isophthalic acid (PIA), another intermediate commodity used in the production of PTA, will be supplied by a dedicated PIA plant planned by Takamul Investment Company at Sohar. Takamul is the downstream investment arm of Oman Oil Company and a 30 per cent shareholder in OMPET.

Other key ingredients required in the PET manufacturing process are monoethylene glycol (MEG) and acetic acid, which will be procured from the open market, while hydrogen gas will be sourced from natural gas. Importantly, the OMPET project is expected to catalyse investments in an array of spin-off ventures that will utilise PET as the basic raw material. PET resin is widely used in the production of bottles for beverages, drinking water, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and all kinds of foodstuff. PET sheets also used to manufacture food trays, while PET films are used for wrapping and all kinds of packages.

OMPET is a joint venture of Oman Oil Company (50 per cent), Takamul (20 per cent) and LG International (30 per cent). The company aims to bring its PTA/PET complex into operation by 2018.


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