After just five months of operations at its new manufacturing facility in the Salalah Free Zone, emerging global packaging leader OCTAL Petrochemicals has substituted 90 per cent of PET resin imports into Oman, valued at nearly US$42 million a year.
OCTAL Chairman Sheikh Saad Suhail Bahwan said: “Omani companies can now buy from a world-class Omani supplier, reducing expenditure on expensive overseas imports and investing instead in Omani factories and jobs. This is a great advertisement for local manufacturing.”
Sales are set to increase further in June as customers use up their old inventories of PET and switch over to OCTAL, Sheikh Saad added. OCTAL produces PET resin for soft drinks, bottled water, and edible oil packaging, as well as PET sheet, the world’s fastest growing choice of material for clear rigid plastic packaging applications.
Mr. E.M Ashraf, Director of the Oman-based OCTAL customer Areej Vegetable Oils and Derivatives SAOG, said OCTAL’s local production reduces costs, increases competitiveness and creates opportunities for growth.
He said: “Buying from OCTAL has allowed us to dramatically reduce inventory by as much as 70 per cent, and save working capital to invest in other parts of our business, such as jobs, training and product innovation. Omani companies want to invest in their home market while remaining confident that locally sourced products and services meet international standards, ensuring they stay competitive.”
OCTAL’s PET resin, made at its new integrated production facility in Salalah Free Zone, delivers improved cost savings and environmental performance. Besides supplying its home market, OCTAL exports PET resin to more than 30 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Far East. Annual sales are expected to reach US$400 million.
Eng. Awadh bin Salim Al Shanfari, CEO of Salalah Free Zone, said: “OCTAL was one of the first companies to set up in Salalah Free Zone in December 2006 and its rapid expansion has helped raise the profile of the free zone dramatically. Both parties have worked in close cooperation and the results in terms of local employment and business opportunities have been tremendous.
“Salalah Free Zone with its prime location and incentives is attracting many investors and driving growth in the local economy. Successful initiatives like OCTAL are having a positive knock-on effect on other business sectors in Salalah.”
Opened in January 2009, OCTAL’s integrated PET resin and clear rigid sheet production facility was built at an initial cost of US$350 million. Its current production capacity of 300,000 m/t is set to increase to 800,000 m/t when a second phase of expansion is completed in 2011. At that point, OCTAL will be the largest PET producer on one site in the world.
OCTAL’s investors include the National Investment Fund Company (NIFCO), Muscat Overseas, Oman Investment Company, Malatan Trading and Contracting, Oman and Emirates Investment Holding, Suhail Bahwan Group, Dhofar International Development and Investment Holding Company (DIDIC), Bank Muscat, and the MENA Infrastructure Fund (HSBC).