Sebacic Oman bio-refinery exports maiden cargo

Sebacic Oman celebrated its maiden export of product from its bio-refinery complex at the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Duqm, marking a new milestone in the operational phase of this first-of-its-kind project in the Middle East.

Over the weekend, Port of Duqm announced that it has handled a containerized shipment of glycerin produced by Sebacic Oman at the adjoining SEZ. The export consignment – the first ever from Sebacic Oman – is destined for Port of Nhava Sheva on India’s west coast, the port stated in a message.

In remarks to the Observer, Shaikh Khalid al Maawali, Director Operations of Sebacic Oman, said the shipment demonstrated the company’s commitment to meeting its supply commitments to its overseas customers notwithstanding the challenges posed by the lockdown over the novel coronavirus pandemic.  He thanked in particular the SEZ Authority of Duqm (SEZAD), as well as the Port of Duqm, for facilitating the timely despatch of the shipment despite the challenging circumstances.

“The online support given by SEZAD in the form of permits and clearances, despite the lockdown, is much-appreciated. This support will enable us to execute supply orders we have received from reputed multinationals, such as Dupont and Old World Industries in the US, even during the ongoing pandemic related lockdown.”

Set up with an investment of $62 million, Sebacic Oman SAOC was the first heavy industrial project to be established in the Duqm SEZ – the result of a decision by Shaikh Hilal bin Khalid al Maawali, the company’s chairman, to support the growth of a non-oil economy in the Sultanate.

Sebacic acid, processed from castor oil, is used in the manufacture of a range of high-value commodities including Bio-Nylons, Sun Protection Creams, Lubricants, Aerospace Polymers, and various types of pharmaceuticals.

The global pandemic, according to the Director of Operations, has led to the slowdown in the uptake of company’s products prompted.  “We feel this is just a temporary phase and businesses will be normal globally within the 2-3 months,” he noted however, adding that operations at the Duqm plant have been scaled down to a minimum following the implementation of measures to secure the health and well-being of workers.

Commenting on the significance of the maiden shipment, Port of Duqm added: “As an export oriented unit (EOU) based within the Special economic zone in Duqm and located less than 20kms away from the port, it underpins the increasing cost and logistics advantage that Port of Duqm is offering to its clients. As such, Port of Duqm is expecting container handling at the Port to expand exponentially from now onwards.”