Contract awarded for major ammonia project in Salalah

By Conrad Prabhu — MUSCAT: International engineering and construction giant SNC-Lavalin has announced that it has been awarded a contract by Salalah Methanol Company LLC (SMC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Oman Oil Company SAOC, to build an ammonia plant in Dhofar Governorate.
The 1,000 metric tonnes per day (MTPD) capacity project, estimated to cost several hundred million dollars, will be constructed alongside the methanol scheme of Salalah Methanol Company in Salalah Free Zone.
Rich hydrogen purge gas fed from the 3,000 MTPD methanol plant will be used as feedstock to produce ammonia which, besides being used as an ingredient in the production of fertilizers, is also an important intermediate chemical in the manufacture of synthetic resins (urea based), synthetic fibres (acrylics and nylons, and polyurethanes, among other applications.
As part of its brief, SNC-Lavalin will undertake the engineer, procurement and construction of an anhydrous liquid ammonia plant, including its utilities and off-site infrastructure.  Actual construction work on the ammonia plant will commence shortly.
The project was conceived as part of Salalah Methanol Company’s growth strategy with the goal of contributing to value addition, as well as the nation’s economic diversification.
The venture will provide greater opportunities for service providers both in construction and operation. In addition, it will support society through direct and indirect employment.
It is expected that the ammonia project will catalyse investments in a wider value-added chemicals cluster at the free zone.
This proposed downstream cluster, coupled with the base petrochemical projects already in operation or under development at the free zone, promises to stimulate the growth of a major liquids hub adjoining the Port of Salalah.