Oman Wanfang LLC, the developer and operator of the China-Oman Industrial Park under implementation at Duqm Special Economic Zone (SEZ), says it is in discussion with the Ministry of Oil & Gas for the gas requirements of the multibillion-dollar industrial investments planned at the Park.
Gas availability, supply and cost remain a ‘bottleneck’ that would need to be resolved if a number of large petrochemical and industrial schemes envisioned at the Park are to progress, said a key executive of Oman Wanfang.
“We have had several rounds of negotiations between the investors, the SEZ Authority at Duqm (SEZAD) and the Ministry of Oil & Gas,” said Liao Zhenhua (pictured), Deputy General Manager — Oman Wanfang. “The bottleneck is for gas supply — how we can get the required capacity, the timeframe for supply, and at what price,” he added.
Zhenhua made the comments in a presentation at the 2017 Dossier Construction Infrastructure Awards & Summit, organised by UMS Events, at Sheraton Oman Hotel yesterday.
The issue of gas supply for some of the $10.7 billion in Chinese investments planned at the Park was also discussed during a joint roadshow staged by SEZAD and Oman Wanfang in Dalian, China last month, he said.
Later, in comments to the Observer, Zhenhua said locally sourced and competitively priced natural gas is imperative to the success of a slew of heavy industrial and petrochemical schemes due to come up at the Park. He ruled out imported and regasified LNG as an alternative energy source for these ventures, arguing that energy imports would hurt the viability of the projects in question.
Among the first major investments lined up for implementation at the Park is an integrated Methanol and Methanol to Olefin (MTO) complex promoted by China’s Mingyuan Holdings Group Ltd, said Zhenhua. Natural gas is the primary feedstock for the giant scheme, which is proposed to be built with an investment of around $2.8 billion in Phase 1. It includes a roughly 1.8 million tonnes per annum (tpa) capacity methanol plant, 700K tpa methanol-to-olefin plant, 300K tpa polyethylene plant and 450K tpa polypropylene plant.
Gas will also be required to power a 300MW captive power plant jointly planned by Hebei Electric Power Design Research Institute and Ningxia Electric Power Design Institute with an investment of around $400 million. Also envisaged as part of the complex is a 50,000 tonnes per day capacity seawater desalination plant proposed by Ningxia Water Treatment Co Ltd with an investment of around $80 million.
Part of the 1,172 hectare site earmarked for the China-Oman Industrial Park has already been prepared for the laying of the infrastructure and utilities ahead of the actual commencement of construction work on the industries, says Zhenhua.
“Detailed drawings were submitted for approval last week, which will pave the way for the development of utilities and infra to commence,” the Deputy General Manager said. “We hope for Phase 1 of the Park to be completed within the next five years.”