Muscat: Oman Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) is planning to float a tender to appoint a consultant for front-engine engineering design (FEED) for its proposed $3.6 billion integrated Liwa Plastics project within two months, a top-level company official told journalists.
The project, which is integrated with the existing Sohar refinery for producing polyethylene, polypropylene, and benzene, is scheduled for commissioning by 2018—two years after the completion of the Sohar refinery expansion.
"We will appoint the FEED contractor to help us create the designs, which may take 12 to 16 months, before we actually produce a tender for the engineering, procurement, and construction contract of the project. This will also give us more flexibility in terms of integrating with the refinery. Also, it will help in optimising the feedstock we have in the refinery and the natural gas because the steam-cracker feedstock will be both natural gas and refinery products," said Musab Al Mahruqi, CEO of Orpic, on the sidelines of releasing the company's sustainability report.
However, Al Mahruqi noted that the project was still in an early phase of development.
Orpic will be fully responsible for the entire project, which has six components: a gas extraction plant in Fahud, a 300-kilometre-long pipeline between Fahud and Sohar Industrial Port for transporting gas, a steam cracker unit, an HDPE plant, an LLDPE plant, and a polypropylene plant.
Al Mahrouqi earlier said that as much as 60 per cent of the feedstock for the Liwa Plastics project would come from the existing Sohar refinery, while 40 per cent would be natural gas liquids extracted from the gas in Fahud.
The Liwa Plastics project, once commissioned, will enhance both fuel and plastics production tremendously. Plastics production will increase to 1.4 million tonnes per annum by 2018 from 200,000 tonnes per annum now, while fuels production will touch 11.3 million tonnes from 7.3 million tonnes.