Orpic, the subsidiary of Oman Oil Company, announced during the SPE conference in Oman its plan to invest $3.6 bln in an integrated olefins project that will have an annual capacity of one million tons of linear low- and high-density polyethylene. Project is expected to be completed by 2018.
Orpic handles Oman's refinery and petrochemicals business. New project will include a steam cracker for production of olefin monomers and polymerization reactors with a capacity of one million tons. Orpic already produces 200,000 tons per year of polypropylene and the new investment will enable the company to entry into the polyethylene market. Orpic's representatives predict that polyolefins will account for 12% of total sales and will generate 50% of the company's profits.
Another highlight of the conference was a panel discussion on the growth and challenges for plastics processors in the Gulf region. "There is a great push from governments in the Gulf countries to enhance the development and growth of the local plastics converting industry," said SPE CEO Willem De Vos. "This industry is currently dominated by resin producers, but converters require different and special attention."
The aggressive growth of plastics processing being planned for the Middle East will generate great demand for qualified and capable technical human resources, along with expanded access to plastics engineering knowledge, according to SPE's new president Jon Ratzlaff.