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OMAN - Sohar Aromatics.

A $956m plant to convert petrochemicals into raw materials used in the production of plastics, polyester fibres and other substances will be built by OOC in Sohar. The project is in line with Oman's long-term strategy, says Maqbool bin Ali bin-Sultan, the minister of commerce, industry and minerals and chairman of OOC

The plant will produce 800,000 t/y of paraxylene and 210,000 t/y of benzene. Paraxylene is a key raw material to make polyester fibres. Benzene is used to produce a wide range of plastics, nylons, detergents and other chemicals. The project's basic engineering contract was awarded to Axens, a French company serving the refining, petrochemical and gas processing sectors. Bin-Sultan and Jean Sentenac, chairman and CEO of Axens, signed the contract in Oman on May 3. The basic engineering for the plant was to be completed by end-September 2005. The FEED will be undertaken by Jacobs Consultancy of the US in parallel with the basic engineering. Omani companies are to participate in the construction and operation of the plant - creating jobs for nationals. OOC's board has approved the sale of a 20% equity in the project to ORC and stakes to ORC and LGI unit GS Int'l. HSBC is the financial adviser. The plant will use naphtha supplied by SRC. Axens, located in Paris, was formed on July 1, 2001, through the merger of IFP's (Institute Francais du Petrole) technology licencing division with Procatalyse Catalysts and Adsorbents.
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Publication:APS Review Downstream Trends
Date:Feb 6, 2006
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