State-owned oil company Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (ORPIC) has completed talks on awarding $4.5 billion worth of contracts to build a major plastics complex in the sultanate.
Musab Al Mahruqi, CEO of ORPIC, said he anticipates signing contracts and financing agreements by the end of the year. The Liwa Plastics Industries Complex project, which is due to be commissioned in 2019 and to take four years to build, is set to be the largest project in the downstream oil and gas industry in Oman.
The complex will enable Oman, for the first time, to produce polyethylene, which is used to make plastic bottles, containers and bags as well as numerous toys.
Polyethylene is the form of plastic that is most in demand worldwide demand. The market for the resin is expected to rise by four per cent per year to 99.6 million metric tons by 2018, with a global value of $164 billion.
The plant will also enable Oman to dramatically increase its polypropylene production. Polypropylene is a relatively heat-resistant plastic and has a variety of uses including automobile parts and food packaging. The global polypropylene market was worth $81.6 billion in 2014 and is predicted to reach $133.3 billion by 2023.
ORPIC expects that the plant will double company profit, support the development of a downstream plastics industry in Oman and increase plastic production by more than one million tonnes.
The plant, which will be built in Oman’s northern port city of Sohar, is a major part of the sultanate’s effort to diversify its economy.