Having nailed down contracts for its $826 million Salalah LPG Extraction Project, Oman Oil Company (OOC) — the wholly government-owned energy investment arm — is now gearing up to deliver its next petrochemical venture: an ammonia scheme that will be developed downstream of its existing methanol plant in Salalah Free Zone.
Financial closure for the estimated $750 million ammonia project — part of a trio of OOC-backed energy and petrochemical schemes under various stages of development and operation in the Free Zone — is currently under way, according to Chief Executive Officer Eng Isam al Zadjali.
“We are going through the financial close of the ammonia project as we speak,” said Al Zadjali. “This is an expansion of the methanol project in Salalah,” he told journalists soon after signing a raft of contracts, linked to the implementation of the Salalah LPG Extraction plant.
The LPG extraction venture, according to the CEO, is the first of a sizeable portfolio of new investments currently in hand for development. “As we had announced at the beginning of the year, we are now finalising everything in the pipeline, the first of which was the LPG extraction plant. Soon we will talk about the Salalah ammonia project, followed by the Oman PTA project in Suhar. We also want to conclude the Duqm Refinery project before we go on to announce our plans for a petrochemical complex.”
In March, Salalah Methanol Co (SMC), a wholly owned subsidiary of OOC’s petrochemicals and metals-focused vertical Takamul Investment, named Canada’s SNC Lavalin as the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor for the Salalah ammonia project.
The 1,000 metric tonnes per day (MTPD) capacity ammonia plant will be integrated with SMC’s existing 1 million tonnes per year (tpy) capacity methanol plant at the free zone.
Besides being used as an ingredient in the production of fertilizers, ammonia is also an important intermediate chemical in the manufacture of synthetic resins (urea based), synthetic fibres (acrylics and nylons, and polyurethanes, among other applications.