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Petrochemical demand is highly correlated to population and GDP growth and the Sultanate is heavily investing in the creation of an integrated refining and petrochemicals hub. All of the projects are a part of the nation’s efforts to diversify its economy away from oil export revenues.

The opportunity

SOHAR is seeing exponential growth in the petrochemical industry with pursuant growth in the number and complexity of ISO containers being handled through the port. Moreover, SOHAR Freezone, which has already helped in attracting sizable foreign direct investment (FDI) in a host of industries over the last six years, is set to lure further investments in mineral/ metal-based industries, logistics as well as downstream petrochemical ventures that will come up at its highly attractive destination spread over 4,500 hectares.
SOHAR has recently signed a deal to produce calcined petcoke. The finished product, calcined petroleum coke (CPC), will be exported to aluminium and steel industries in and around the GCC region. In addition, the plan will also produce steam and raw petroleum coke as feedstock for downstream petrochemical industries.

The advantage

The Sultanate has two refineries – Mina Al Fahal (in Muscat) and SOHAR Refinery, both of which are owned by ORPIC. The production of petrochemicals by these refineries also showed a decided growth over the course of the year.
Oman Gas Company (OGC) is a major player in the petrochemicals industry. A recent agreement with Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company ‘ORPIC’ will see the operation and maintenance of the Natural Gas Liquid Extraction ‘NGLE’ plant located in Fahud, which is the upstream of ORPIC’s mammoth Liwa Plastics Industrial Complex (LPIC) project at SOHAR. A roughly 300km pipeline connecting the Fahud NGLE plant with the SOHAR complex will be operated and managed by OGC. The company is also implementing a slew of gas pipeline projects that will add around 600 km of new pipeline capacity to the company’s sprawling, countrywide gas network.