Chinese Invest in Oman Methanol Project
Chinese petrochemical producer Mingyuan Holdings has announced plans to build a $2.3 billion methanol-to-olefins (MTO) plant alongside a giant greenfield methanol complex at the China-Oman Industrial Park, according to reports from the sultanate. Established by a group of Chinese investors in Oman’s southern port of Duqm, the park is hoping to attract billions of dollars of downstream investment.
The integrated, natural gas-fed methanol and MTO complex, planned to have a capacity of 10 million t/y, will count among the largest petrochemical schemes in the Gulf region, the investors said. Development is planned in several stages, with the first stage envisioned to produce 1.8 million t of gas-to-methanol and methanol-to-olefins annually. In addition to methanol and MTO, the main products will include PE and PP.
Also in Oman, French industrial gases producer Air Liquide has signed a long-term contract with Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company ORRIC, the country’s national refining company, to supply nitrogen to the Liwa Plastics Industries Complex (LPIC) in the Sohar industrial port area. Production capacities will include Oman’s first steam cracker.
Liwa expects to produce a combined total of 1.4 million t of PP and PE annually, and the project is seen as critical to the development of a downstream plastics industry in Oman.
Air Liquide is investing around $20 million to build the state-of-the-art nitrogen production unit with a total capacity of 500 t/day. The plant will be owned and operated by Air Liquide Sohar Industrial Gases Company; it is projected to start up in the first quarter of 2019, concurrently with the expansion of Air Liquide’s existing pipeline network.