Muscat: Oman Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) said that the capacity of its polypropylene plant will be raised to 340,000 tonnes of high quality polypropylene per annum from 200,000 tonnes a year now.
This is considered an achievement for the company, which started operations in 2006.
Faisal Al Hajri, Orpic's regional sales manager for Middle East, Africa and Europe, said the plant, which is the only one of its kind in the Sultanate, now produces 200,000 tonnes of polypropylene.
The plant is part of the government's vision to develop the petrochemical industry. The Sohar Refinery of Orpic is the main supplier of raw materials used in the production of polypropylene. It is also a key component in the building of an integrated local petrochemical industry. It is also part of the efforts made by the Sultanate to diversify sources of national income and benefit from gas production.
Orpic markets the product under the brand name 'Luban,' the most renowned Omani product for export in ancient times. The production, which ranges between very soft material and granules, is exported to 91 ports in more than 63 countries, including the Gulf Cooperation Council states, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Middle East and North Africa countries, China, Vietnam, Peru, South Korea, Myanmar, the Philippines and South Africa.
Luban is used in the production of plastic chairs, tables, carpets, packing materials, ropes, caps, packing straps and other electrical and home appliances.
Al Hajri added that the production currently meets 90 per cent of the Sultanate's needs. Orpic seeks to develop the plastics industry in the Sultanate and double its profits by benefiting from the growing demand for plastic.
When the Liwa Plastics Industries Complex (LPIC) becomes operational by 2020, it will produce 1.5 million tonnes of polyethylene and propylene. The project includes plants for the production of 440,000 tonnes per annum of high density polyethylene, 440,000 tonnes of low density polyethylene, and 300,000 tonnes per annum of polypropylene.
Al Hajri also pointed out that in the near future, the company will focus on plastic-based modern industries, including medical equipment manufacturers, which will be a value addition. Orpic also supports small and medium enterprises that will use the raw plastic produced at the Liwa factory.
LPIC is a steam cracker project, which will process light ends produced in Orpic’s Sohar Refinery and its Aromatics plant, as well as optimise Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) extracted from currently available natural gas supplies. Its concept lies in rerouting elements of existing production in combination with additional purchased feedstock to deliver high value polymer products for the local and international marketplaces.
Its primary goal is to further increase the value-added that can be derived from Omani crude oil and natural gas.