Oman-based Octal Petrochemicals has announced the initial set-up of the heavy equipment for its new PET resin plant, a key element in the company’s drive to establish Oman as a global powerhouse in the plastic packaging industry.
The new ‘Sapphire’ plant is part of an advanced US$300 million integrated PET resin and APET sheet complex currently taking shape in the Salalah Free Zone. PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is a polymer used in packaging for a wide array of consumer products, especially the packaging of water and soft drinks.
Octal, which started operations in December 2006, plans to become the world's largest producer of amorphous PET sheet packaging, with 20 per cent market share, and the Middle East's largest producer of PET resins. The company expects total sales to reach US$500 million per annum by the end of this year.
“This is a landmark day for Octal Petrochemicals,” said Rashid Saif Al Sadi, a member of the Board of Directors at Octal Petrochemicals. “Our state-of-the-art Sapphire plant is moving ahead on schedule, as is our overall strategy. We are establishing a company that has the potential to make huge contributions to the Oman economy.”
He said: “Our aim is to be not only the largest company of its kind in the world, but the best, producing packaging of superior quality at a lower price than our competitors.”
Al Sadi revealed that a 40-metre chimney and three 12-MW heaters have been installed at the key utilities section of the Sapphire PET plant. Structural work for the main plant, which will cover 135,000 square metres, has also started. The warehouses and raw material storage facilities have also been completed on or before schedule.
Octal Managing Director Nicholas Barakat said: “In a very short period of time, Octal has established itself as a global force in the sheet packaging industry. The Sapphire plant represents an important step in our expansion strategy. Overall, production capacity now stands at 30,000 metric tons per annum, and we expect this to increase tenfold later this year, meaning that Octal will have cornered a fifth of the US$2.25 billion world market for APET while becoming the largest PET producer in the Middle East.”
He added: “Octal Petrochemicals is on its way to becoming the largest exporter from the port of Salalah, a growing employer in Oman and a significant regional investor. This is a fast-growing global company of which all Omani residents can be proud.”
Octal's parent company, Chemlink Capital Ltd, which specialises in downstream petrochemical projects, has provided the initial funding along with institutional and individual investors in Oman, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. BankMuscat is the financial advisor to the project.
Suhail Bahwan Group, BankMuscat, Muscat Overseas, Malatan Trading, DIDIC, Oman and Emirate Investment Company, Oman Investment Company, and National Investment Fund Company are Octal Petrochemicals’ founding partners.