22 November 2012 16:27 [Source: ICB]
ICIS editor John Baker interviews Musab Al Mahruqi, CEO of Oman's Orpic, on a range of issues from trade and logistics infrastructure to feedstock availability in the country.
Musab Al Mahruqi
The global economies continue to witness an uneven pattern of growth. While the mature economies like the US and eurozone are witnessing a low or a negative growth, the Asian economies are showing a healthy growth. Such imbalance does point at a scenario where trade barriers can be erected to protect own interests. The Gulf petrochemicals industry continues to be the largest producer and exporter in the world, accounting for 11% of the $600bn (€470bn) global petrochemical industry. The Gulf's market share is expected to touch 17% in the next five years. More than 13% of polyolefin global polyolefin supplies are produced in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.
Recent examples of trade barriers that come to my mind are that of India imposing antidumping duty on Oman for polypropylene (PP) even though the exports to India from Oman were negligible. Just a month back, Turkey announced an increase of 3% in the import duty on PP originating from the GCC.
GPCA can play a [more] important and proactive role than it has done so far to protect the interests of its members.
A feasibility study will inform the company's downstream expansion
The ethane extractable from natural gas along with other light petrochemical feedstock available in Oman is sufficient to launch a worldscale petrochemical project in Oman.
Oman is actively engaged in adding value to its crude oil as per His Majesty's Vision 2020. The second oil refinery in Oman was setup in Sohar in 2006. Simultaneously a PP project was setup. The aromatics plant went into production in 2010. The three units which existed independently earlier have now been integrated to form the new entity Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Co (Orpic).
Orpic has already announced an improvement project for its Sohar Refinery. Other downstream projects may be added after the feasibility study has been completed.
Orpic is not associated with the Duqm project. The feasibility study is being conducted by Oman Oil Co.
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