OMAN: Oman Oil's Oxea ups esters plant capacity

"The manufacturing expansion at AEP will add innovative specialty chemical and fertiliser solutions to support the robust growth of the company's global footprint in the production of phthalate-free plasticisers and complement our strategic expansion plans into the petrochemicals sector," said Mulham Al Jarf, OOC deputy chief executive officer and chairman of Oxea.

"We are committed to Oxea's plans of strengthening its market share through the implementation of several optimisation measures that will help its growing customer base achieve fuel economy and improved sustainability standards," he added.

"The increasing demand for phthalate-free plasticisers re-affirms the strategic vision of Oxea and the necessity of continuous investments and initiatives that we have embarked upon to address the industry's changing requirements. This capacity enhancement in Amsterdam is another excellent example of our strong commitment to supporting our customers with sufficient and reliable supplies of specialty esters," said Cristobal Ascencio, global vice-president for Oxo Derivatives at Oxea.

This capacity upgrade will specifically benefit producers of medical devices and flooring that are looking for alternatives to replace the conventional plasticisers, dioctyl phthalate (DOP) and diisononyl phthalate (DINP).

Oxea is ranked first in the world as a supplier of Oxo chemicals to the merchant market and second as producer of Oxo chemicals globally in products like aldehydes, esters and carboxylic acids.

Today, Oxea has operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia and has the broadest portfolio producing more than 70 Oxo chemicals for customers in a wide range of industries. This investment will expand OOC's downstream portfolio by bringing world-class technology and know-how to Oman through existing assets and new investments.

Source: Daily "Times of Oman" & "Oman Observer", Muscat; 5 Feb 2014

(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)