Oman is set to start work at the Middle East region’s first sebacic acid production plant coming up within the Duqm special economic zone early next year, said a report, citing a senior official.
A 100 per cent “green industry”, the project will produce sebacic acid - which has extensive application in the plastics, petrochemicals and pharmaceutical industries - from castor oil, said a key official representing the Special Economic Zone Authority Duqm (Sezad).
The site preparation work on the 400,000-sq-m plot earmarked for the project is due to kick off in first quarter of 2016, revealed Anwar Al Battashi, the urban planning manager at Sezad.
The front-end engineering design (FEED) has already been completed, he said, adding that plant commissioning is slated for the first quarter of 2017 with full operations targeted by second quarter, he added.
The $63 million project, being jointly promoted by Omani and Indian investors, will be developed in two stages.
In May, Oman Sebacic Company, promoted by India-based Shipra Agrichem Private Limited and Omani businessman Shaikh Hilal bin Khalid Al Mawali, signed a usufruct agreement with Sezad covering the lease of a plot for the development of this one-of-a-kind project at Duqm.
Shipra operates a 10,000 metric tonnes per annum capacity sebacic acid plant in Vadodara on India’s west coast.
Given the product’s diverse use — spanning the chemical, pharmaceutical and industrial sectors — the Duqm project is expected to catalyse investment in downstream and spin off ventures that depend on sebacic acid as a key ingredient.
Major sebacic acid producing countries include China, Japan, Brazil, India and the UK.