Oman-owned chemicals giant eyes new capacity growth in 2021

Muscat: Wholly Omani owned OQ Chemicals (formerly Oxea) – a global manufacturer of

oxo intermediates and oxo derivatives – says it plans to boost its output of carboxylic acids, which are a key ingredient in the international animal feeds industry as well in the manufacture of synthetic lubricants.

Germany-headquartered OQ Chemicals – which is wholly owned by OQ (until recently Oman Oil and Orpic Group) – the refining and petrochemicals powerhouse of the Sultanate – also announced moves to ramp up its production of other key intermediate chemical products.

The announcements came as the erstwhile Oxea formally rebranded as ‘OQ Chemicals’ as part of its integration into OQ – the Sultanate’s consolidated energy conglomerate.

The integration with OQ will open up new synergies for international clients of the newly rebranded OQ Chemicals, said Dr Oliver Borgmeier, who oversees Downstream International Assets at Muscat-headquartered OQ.

“Long-term, our customers will benefit from synergies at OQ: We will continue to invest in innovation. In 2021, we aim to add 30 per cent to our company’s total production capacity for carboxylic acids with a sixth world-scale production plant. For the same year, we plan to bring on-stream additional production capacity for TCD Alcohol that will cover the anticipated global demand for years to come,” he added.

Oxea, which became part of OQ’s predecessor Oman Oil Company (OOC) in 2013, is a global producer of oxo intermediates and oxo derivatives, such as alcohols, polyols, carboxylic acids, specialty esters, and amines. These products are used for the production of high-quality coatings, lubricants, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products, flavours and fragrances, printing inks and plastics. OQ Chemicals, with plants in the United States, Germany, China and the Netherlands, produces more than 70 different types of oxo intermediates and derivatives currently totaling over 1.3 million tons per annum and generating revenues of around about €1.2 billion annually.

Early last year, OQ Chemicals affirmed plans to bolster capacity at its five existing carboxylic acid production units during 2020 in preparation for the goal of bringing a sixth world-scale production plant on stream in 2021.