Conrad Prabhu –
MUSCAT, JULY 3 –
Investments in Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) capacity as well as an ammonium fertilizer plant are among a quartet of petrochemicals-based projects proposed by Tanfeedh — the National Programme for Enhancing Economic Diversification.
Specifics about the Petrochemicals Sub-Sector and its constituent project proposals — part of an exciting portfolio of 120-plus initiatives outlined by Tanfeedh in its drive to inject fresh momentum into Oman’s economic development — have been detailed in the English version of its long-awaited handbook released here yesterday.
One noteworthy project outlined by Tanfeedh envisions a major role for Oman Oil Company, the state-owned energy investment arm, in the development of an ammonia-based fertilizer plant in the Sultanate.
It moots the establishment of a 1 million tonnes per annum capacity ammonia plant that will provide the feedstock necessary for conversion into ammonium based fertilizers that are globally in demand for all kinds of agricultural production. Oman Oil Company is already a 50 per cent shareholder in Oman-India Fertliser Company (OMIFCO), which owns and operates a major urea-based fertilizer plant at Sur.
Tanfeedh also advocates a substantial increase in Oman’s Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) production capacity.
One initiative proposed by Tanfeedh calls for a ramp-up in the utilisation of OCTAL’s existing PET sheets and PET resins plant in the Salalah Free Zone. The plant currently operates at 50 per cent capacity due to limited gas supply averaging 74,000 m3/day. With an additional supply of 50,000 m3/day of gas, plant capacity can be optimised to 100 per cent, it said.
“At full capacity, OCTAL could add an additional RO 13.9 million to GDP by 2020. In addition, once full capacity is attained, additional annual revenues of RO 100 million could be achieved and employment could be increased by 50 positions,” said Tanfeedh.
Yet another PET related venture proposed by Tanfeedh seeks to support local firm Titronic Middle East LLC in the production of 16,000 tonnes of the polyethylene triflates sheets and rolls annually. The new investment will help eschew the need to import polyethylene triflate pipes necessary for the production of polyethylene triflates sheets.
Tanfeedh has proposed a new PET plant in Salalah Free Zone (or any other zone in lieu) that will produce the pipes locally instead of importing them.
A 16,000 metric tonne capacity plant has the potential to generate annual profits of RO 1.54 million, as well as create an additional 80 jobs, according to the national programme.
Rounding off the list of petrochemicals related initiatives is a plant designed to manufacture bituminous waterproofing membranes used as insulating material in construction and building for heat-resistance surfaces, covering membranes channels, waterproofing of deep-based buildings, and for insulation systems of bridges in ports.
Global consumption of this product is projected to increase from 1 billion m2 in 2015 to 1.6 billion m2 by 2020 due to exponential growth in construction projects.
The modest size project mooted by the partnership of Techno Nicol and Muscat International Bitumen envisages an investment of RO 5.17 million.
The proposed Suhar based facility aims to produce 10 million square metres of bitumen membranes annually. Construction of the plant is proposed in four main phases.