Interview : Ahmed Saleh Al Jahdhami
In what ways will Orpic’s planned expansions boost Oman’s energy security?
AHMED SALEH AL JAHDHAMI: Orpic’s project portfolio comprises three items: the Sohar Refinery Improvement Project (SRIP), the Muscat Sohar Product Pipeline (MSPP) and the Liwa Plastics Industries Complex (LPIC). The SRIP and the MSPP are now operational and are primarily focused on meeting Oman’s growing energy needs. The SRIP has increased the Sohar refinery’s production capacity by 82,000 barrels per day (bpd), bringing its yield potential to 198,000 bpd. The MSPP is a strategic investment that, by delivering more than 50% of Oman’s fuel via a central fuel terminal and storage facility at Al Jifnain, is meant to improve costs in downstream primary logistics and consolidate wholesale fuel distribution. The Al Jifnain Terminal already services 70% of Oman’s hydrocarbon needs, and it will soon begin using a direct pipeline, which has already been commissioned, to supply aviation fuel to Muscat International Airport.
How could public policy help Oman’s efforts to add value to extracted hydrocarbons as well as diversify its energy sector?
AL JAHDHAMI: To maximise the value derived from extracted hydrocarbons, we must partner with key public and private stakeholders to develop the downstream plastics industry. In addition to being a significant contributor to the diversification of Oman’s income sources, polymers can add value to academia, multiply human capital and encourage foreign direct investment (FDI).
Creating a two-pronged policy approach will also prove beneficial in creating a cohesive national strategy for the industry’s sustainable growth. We are working with public and private entities alike to foster a climate that will attract local, regional and international investors. We trust that policy developed in consultation with business leaders will bolster the promotion and maturation of the downstream sector. Orpic’s Polymer Marketing division was established in 2017 to strengthen the country’s position in the growing global plastics market. From here, we started working with various ministries, banks and developers to attract new small- and medium-sized plastic converters.
How will the LPIC project contribute to the sector’s development and the broader economy?
AL JAHDHAMI: The LPIC project, which is set to be completed by 2020, is the largest transformational undertaking in Oman and is firmly in line with the company’s strategy to add value to the country’s downstream industry. Once operational, the complex will catalyse the growth of several auxiliary industries. Moreover, we expect that it will contribute 2% of the sultanate’s GDP, mainly by meeting demands for polymer both locally and in the several international markets where Orpic has recently established offices, including China, Singapore and India.
Once complete, the LPIC will consist of a gas extraction plant located in Fahud, the 300-km Fahud-Sohar pipeline and the Sohar industrial area’s steam cracker and polymer plants, which will produce linear low-density polyethylenes, high-density polyethylenes, and polypropylene. Moreover, they will create several process streams that will be recycled and fed back to adjacent facilities. The LPIC will add value to existing products by upgrading and linking the Sohar refinery to a new petrochemicals facility.
In anticipation of the LPIC’s completion, our focus is to bring together government entities, the private sector and international players to foster discussion on the potential for downstream business. We are also working with the government’s Tanfeedh initiative, alongside creditors, developers, business enablers and academia, to attract the local capital and FDI necessary to develop the petrochemicals sector.
You have reached the limit of premium articles you can view for free.
Choose from the options below to purchase print or digital editions of our Reports. You can also purchase a website subscription giving you unlimited access to all of our Reports online for 12 months.
If you have already purchased this Report or have a website subscription, please login to continue.