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Sohar Refinery expansion to boost petrochemical output
May '11
Oman has signed contracts with CB&I Lummus BV, a leading international EPC company providing services to the Oil and Gas industry, for front-end engineering design (FEED) and project management consultancy (PMC), as a part of the massive expansion of Sohar Refinery.

The expansion of Sohar Refinery is being undertaken to increase the total refining capacity to 187,000 barrels per day (bpd) when the project gets completed in 2015, from 116,000 bpd at present.

The expansion, at an estimated cost of US$ 1.5 billion, is expected to boost petrochemical production in Sohar industrial area.

Post-expansion, the Sohar Refinery is expected to meet the additional feedstock requirements of both Aromatics Oman and Oman Polypropylene, both located in Sohar, according to Mohammed bin Hamed Al Rumhy, Oman's Minister of Oil and Gas.

Aromatics Oman commissioned in February 2010, utilizes naphtha supplied by Sohar Refinery as well as imported and has a capacity to produce 818,000 tonnes per annum of paraxylene and 198,000 tonnes per annum of benzene.

Oman Polypropylene plant, which began operations in 2007, is supposed to act as the seed for the development of a downstream polypropylene industry in Oman, especially by using feedstock from Sohar Refinery.

Musab al Mahruqi, Group Chief Executive Officer of Oman Oil Refineries and Petrochemical Industries, elaborates that the expansion of Sohar Refinery is being undertaken to increase the production of petroleum products including naphtha and propylene.

The additional production of petroleum products will not only meet the local demand but also further enhance Oman's ability to export petroleum and petrochemical products.

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for Sohar Refinery expansion is expected to be floated in the first quarter of 2012. This will culminate in the commissioning and beginning of on-stream operations of the refinery units by 2015, adds Al Mahrouqi.

The Minister, while signing the contracts, disclosed that Oman is currently in negotiations with a couple of investors who have shown interest in paraxylene from the aromatics project. Besides value addition, it is expected to generate additional employment opportunities.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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