Sezad to submit report on gas requirement
February 19, 2018 | 6:08 PM
by A E JAMES/[email protected]
Reggy Vermeulen, chief executive officer of the Port of Duqm. - Times file picture

Muscat: The Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (Sezad) is going to submit a report on gas requirements of various industries planned within the free zone to the Ministry of Oil and Gas.

The move is expected to help the authorities prioritise these industries.

This will also help investors to get clarity on long-term gas commitments for various industries from the Oman government before taking a final investment decision on different projects, Reggy Vermeulen, chief executive officer of the Port of Duqm, told the Times of Oman in an exclusive interview.

Vermeulen said the planned gas-based industries in Duqm included a major petrochemical complex (in addition to the planned refinery), several upstream mining projects, including a project for refining limestones, and an integrated steel plant.

Firm commitment

The proposal for the steel complex, planned by a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) group, is at an early stage, and a final investment decision will be taken after getting a firm commitment on the long-term supply of natural gas as feedstock from the Oman government.

The planned steel project will be an integrated complex with manufacturing facilities for pellets, hot briquetted iron (HBI), H beams, and steel coils, Vermeulen said. The plan is to import iron ore from ore-rich countries such Australia or Brazil, similar to Vale Oman.

Vermeulen expressed confidence that the Oman government would be able to commit ample gas for industries, with BP commissioning its tight gas project in Khazzan in central Oman in September last year. BP is now supplying almost one million cubic feet of gas per day (bcf/d), equivalent to 30 per cent of Oman’s natural gas production.

Omani authorities recently stated that the Sultanate has excess gas in the short-run, which is an attraction for investors to set up energy intensive industries in the country.

The Sultanate produced 40,908 million cubic metres (MNCM) of natural gas in 2017, against 40,849 MNCM in the previous year, according to the latest statistics released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information.

The Oman government is expected to supply domestic natural gas to industries in Duqm sometime in 2019, once the Oman Gas Company completes its 221km gas pipeline between Saih Nihyada and Duqm.

Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know all the latest news