Oman Oil Company , the wholly Omani government owned energy investment vehicle, has announced plans to invest around $800 million in the establishment of a major petrochemicals plant at Sohar Industrial Port.
Boasting a world-scale capacity of around 1 million tons per annum (mtpa), the project will manufacture Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) and Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), both key ingredients that will not only extend the hydrocarbon value chain, but also drive investments in secondary and tertiary downstream industries.
Significantly, the proposed PTA/PET project will add to Oman Oil 's burgeoning investments in the rapidly expanding petrochemicals and refining sector in the Sultanate. The state-owned company owns stakes in the following key ventures: Salalah Methanol (100 per cent), Oman-India Fertiliser Company OMIFCO (50 per cent), and Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company — ORPIC (25 per cent).
ORPIC groups the country's two refineries at Mina al Fahal and Sohar, as well as the aromatics scheme and polypropylene plant that are integrated with the Sohar refinery. It is understood that the planned PTA/PET project is likely to source its feedstock requirements from the aromatics scheme at Sohar. The latter has a production capacity of 818,000 metric tons per annum of paraxylene and 198,000 metric tons of benzene.
Paraxylene is the primary feedstock used in the manufacture of PTA and PET, according to experts.
PTA is a key raw material component in the polyester value chain, used mainly for the polyester industry to produce fibers and yarns.
Oman Daily Observer