Oman defers OMPET’s major petchem project in Sohar

Muscat - 

Authorities in Oman have decided to postpone Oman International Petrochemical Industries Co’s (OMPET) plans to set up a large petrochemical plant in Sohar owing to uncertainties in getting finances, according to a report released by the Implementation Support and Follow-up Unit (ISFU).

‘During the ISFU mid-year review, the project was removed from the manufacturing dashboard due to the uncertainty and lengthy process of obtaining the final investment decision (FID) by the shareholders, a delay which has resulted in the indefinite postponement of all subsequent milestones’, ISFU said in its annual report released last week.

OMPET was formed and registered in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in December 2013. Oman Oil Company (OOC) holds 50 per cent shares in OMPET, while South Korea’s LG International Corporation has 30 per cent stake and remaining 20 per cent have been held by Takamul Investment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of OOC.

OMPET had earlier signed a project management consultancy services agreement with Worley Parsons Oman Engineering Ltd for developing a large purified terephthalic acid (PTA/PET) project in Sohar.

‘Located within the Sohar Industrial Port, the objective of the Sohar PTA/PET project is to design, build and operate a world- class petrochemical complex’, the ISFU report said.

The proposed plant would have 1.1mn tonnes per annum PTA production capacity with a balance of paraxylene feedstock supplies from the ORPIC’s aromatics complex.

The ISFU report clarified that if complexities related to financing the project are solved in the future, the project could be taken up again. ‘Should the FID be made, the project may return to the manufacturing dashboard. If taken up, the project would have provided direct employment to 250 persons’, it added.

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