German oxo intermediates and derivatives producer Oxea (Oberhausen; www.oxea-chemicals.com
) is to become part of Omans new petrochemicals and energy giant OQ (Muscat / Oman; www.oq.com
). The merger of nine companies all but Oxea based in the Middle East sultanate is part of a government plan to integrate the countrys production infrastructure as part of a national integration programme for oil and petrochemicals launched in late 2018. Even earlier, however, Oman was making strides toward playing a bigger role in petrochemicals and plastics through the creation of an integrated olefins and polyolefins hub at Sohar see Plasteurope.com of 18.08.2016
The largest units of the new national energy conglomerate are Oxeas already linked parent companies Oman Oil (OOC, Muscat; www.oman-oil.com
) and Oman Refineries and Petroleum Industries (Orpic, Sohar; www.oq.com
), with other related companies including OOCs upstream exploration and production arm Oocep, Oman Gas (OGC), Duqm Refinery and Petrochemicals Industries (Drpic), Salalah Methanol (SMC), Oman Trading International (OTI) and Salalah Liquified Petroleum.
At Oxea, current business processes will remain unchanged after the asset consolidation, COO Oliver Borgmeier said in a statement. He stressed that with a focus on oxo derivatives and speciality chemicals, the German company is continuing to invest significantly on its own to supply global markets, while at the same time improving efficiency through digitalisation and automation. In 2021, Oxea expects to start up new production capacity for TCD alcohol as well as its sixth world-scale plant for carboxylic acids at Oberhausen, increasing overall capacity by more than 30%. In 2013, the company started up its fifth plant for the chemicals, thereby lifting capacity by 40% see Plasteurope.com of 31.05.2013
At Sohar, meanwhile, the Liwa Plastics Industries Complex on the Gulf of Oman, announced in 2013 and steered for some years by Orpic, appears to be finally on the starting block. Although the first facilities initially were planned to be ready by 2018, the government later said it would have the organisational infrastructure in place by the end of 2020 and over the next 10 years invest a total of USD 28 bn in downstream production facilities.
Plans for the complex see Plasteurope.com of 31.05.2013
originally called for an investment of USD 3.6 bn in a mixed-feed steam cracker with capacity to produce 800,000 t/y of ethylene and 235,000 t/y of propylene, along with downstream facilities for 500,000 t/y of HDPE, 300,000t/y of LLDPE and 300,000 t/y of PP. Recent unconfirmed reports indicate that the cracker output may be larger, and capacity numbers for the polymer plants may have been rounded up. PIEs Polyglobe database (www.polyglobe.net
) shows that a 340,000 t/y PP plant is already in operation at Sohar. The polymer plants are expected to start up this year, with the cracker to be on stream by 2026.