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Liwa Plastics set for commercial launch by end-Q3

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Economic diversification: Polyethylene production to spur growth of downstream plastics-based manufacturing

Liwa Plastics Industrial Complex (LPIC), the centerpiece of OQ’s integrated refinery and petrochemicals scheme at Sohar Port, will formally commence commercial operations at the end of the third quarter of this year.

According to Kamel bin Bakhit al Shanfari, Head of Operations (Refining and Petrochemicals) at OQ Group, construction work on the multibillion dollar plant has continued despite challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

When fully operational, it will start manufacturing polyethylene – a key raw material in the production of an array of plastics products, he said.

In a statement to ONA, Al Shanfari said Liwa Plastics represents the flagship of OQ Group’s investment of RO 4.884 billion ($12.7 billion) in an integrating complex comprising LPIC, Suhar Refinery Improvement Project (SRIP), Aromatics Plant and Polypropylene Plant, in addition to other support infrastructure at Sohar Port.

Also included in the integrated complex is a Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) extraction plant upstream at Fahud connected with the Suhar scheme with a 300km pipeline. Integrated with the adjoining refinery, Liwa Plastics produces around 300,000 tons per year of polypropylene along with 880,000 tons per year of high-density and low-density polyethylene.

During the construction phase, OQ Group spent around $ 1.5 billion on local goods and services in line with its In-Country Value (ICV) programme.

It also supported Omani SMEs and entrepreneurs, while contributing to a number of CSR projects as a partner in the Jusoor foundation. In 2020 alone, Jusoor supported social and community initiatives in North Al Batinah Governorate amounting to $1.5 million.

Liwa Plastics, Al Shanfari said, represents a pillar of the government’s strategy to diversify the economy through the development of a thriving petrochemicals sector, which in turn will spur investment in downstream plastics projects.

Plant operations are subject to stringent environment standards and specifications set by the Omani government as well as international agencies, he added.

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