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    Investments in Duqm petrochem hub projected at $20 billion

    Potential investments in a future downstream petrochemicals complex in Duqm integrated with a grassroots refinery project are estimated in the order of $20 billion, according to a top official of Oman Oil Company, the wholly government-owned investment company spearheading the development of a world-scale petrochemicals hub in the Duqm Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

    Hilal Ali al Kharusi, Executive Managing Director of Oman Oil Duqm Development Company —one of the four verticals of the Oman Oil Group, said the ambitious scope of the proposed petrochemicals cluster will open up immense opportunities for private sector investments in a wide spectrum of support services in the SEZ.

    Hilal Ali al Kharusi, Executive Managing Director of Oman Oil Duqm Development Company
    Speaking at the Oman Business Forum, hosted by the Diwan of Royal Court last Wednesday, Al Kharusi said Oman Oil Group-led investments in Duqm, commencing with the Duqm Refinery project, will unlock business opportunities for private firms not only as investors and partners, but also in the delivery of soft infrastructure and ancillary services.

    “Along with our partner (Kuwait Petroleum International), we are starting with an investment of around $7 billion in the Duqm Refinery project, which will grow over the next 10 years to reach $20 billion worth of projects. These investments will need to be serviced via the provision of various services, such as R&D, hospitality, retail, banking, insurance, construction, transportation, health, education, you name it! This opens up a lot of opportunities for the private sector,” the official stated.
    As many as 7-8 petrochemical plants, operating downstream of the refinery, are envisioned in the next phase of Oman Oil Group’s plans for the development of a major refining and petrochemicals cluster in Duqm, according to the official. Output from these plants will be offered to investors — local and international — as feedstock for value-adding chemical industries, he said.

    Around 10 different types of petrochemicals and intermediate products will be churned out by the petrochemicals cluster when it is fully operation in the coming decade. The list includes Ethylene Glycols, High Density PE (HDPE), Oxo chemicals, Polypropylene, Butadiene, MTBE and Aromatics.

    The potential for further processing into high-value chemicals is equally promising. Oman Oil Duqm Development Company has identified opportunities for secondary investments associated with, among others, the production of Polymers, Plastics Processing, Plasticisers and Coatings, Oilfield Chemicals, Paints & Adhesives, Rubbers & Elastomers, Detergent Chemicals, and Polyesters & Nylons.

    Conrad Prabhu, Oman Observer

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