Oman Oil Company S.A.O.C. (OOC) has announced its plans to construct a US$ 956 million grass-root Aromatics Complex at Sohar Industrial Port Area.
The Basic Engineering Contract was awarded to Axens at a signing ceremony held at the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. According to ONA, the agreement was signed by Maqbool bin Ali Sultan, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of Oman Oil Company and Jean Sentenac, Chairman and CEO of Axens.
The Basic Engineering is scheduled to be completed by the end of September 2005. The Front End Engineering Design (FEED) will be undertaken by Jacobs Consultancy in parallel with the Basic Engineering.
The Complex will produce 800,000 mtpa of para-xylene and 210,000 mtpa of benzene using naphtha produced by the Sohar Refinery Company L.L.C. (SRC). Para-xylene is a key raw material in the production of polyester fibres and PET plastic bottles. The second petrochemical produced on the complex is benzene. Benzene is an industrial chemical used to produce a wide range of plastics (polystyrene, nylon), detergents and other chemicals.
Maqbool bin Ali Sultan said this project is a further step towards executing the Government’s long-term strategy in petrochemicals, and that this project has various benefits to Oman. In addition to adding value to Omani hydrocarbons, it will create job opportunities for qualified Omanis and also provide opportunities for local Omani companies to participate in the execution of the project and later during operation. The OOC Board has also approved offering Oman Refinery Company (ORC) a 20% equity stake in the Project. ORC is the owner of all hydrocarbons and utilities produced at SRC. Additional equity investors are expected to be invited prior to the launch of financing.
Oman Oil Company S.A.O.C. (OOC) is a commercial company 100 percent owned by the Government of the Sultanate of Oman. The company was created in 1992 to give the Government another vehicle for pursuing investment opportunities. Axens, which is located in Paris, was formed on July 1, 2001 through the merger of IFP's (Institute Francais du Pétrole) technology licensing division with Procatalyse Catalysts & Adsorbents.