A number of regional and international firms are competing for a contract award linked to the establishment of a major nitrogen gas plant to serve the needs of the giant Liwa Plastics Industries Complex (LPIC) currently under development in Sohar. The $6.4 billion petrochemicals scheme — the flagship investment of Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company SAOC (Orpic) — is coming up at a site within Sohar Port in North Al Batinah Governorate. The successful bidder will secure a contract award for the development of a 13,200 NM3/h (normal cubic metres per hour) capacity nitrogen plant on a Build, Own & Operate (BOO) basis. To be located on the periphery of the petrochemicals complex, the captive gas plant will be required to cater to the nitrogen requirements of the mammoth scheme for a period of 20 years from the commercial commencement date.
According to Orpic, nitrogen gas — of 99.9 per cent purity — will be supplied to two key components of the LPIC scheme. While the centrepiece Steam Cracker Plant has a requirement of around 6,400 NM3/h during normal operation, the adjoining Polymer Complex has a projected need of around 6,800 NM3/h of nitrogen gas.
Nitrogen is widely used in the petrochemicals industry because of its inert properties. As a gas that does not react with most hydrocarbon and chemical commodities, it makes for an ideal blanketing gas that helps protect valuable products from harmful contaminants. Nitrogen gas is also used to mitigate flammability and explosion risks in reactor vessels and storage tanks.
The proposed nitrogen plant is expected to be brought into operation by around the third quarter of 2018, just ahead of the planned commissioning of the LPIC complex, according to Orpic.
Multiple consortiums are currently executing the four main components of the multi-billion dollar scheme under Engineering-Procurement-Construction (EPC) contracts concluded by Orpic last December.
The joint venture of CB&I and CTCI Corporation is undertaking the main Steam Cracker package, while Technimont is executing the Plastics/Polymer Units. At the upstream end of the project, the JV of GS Engineering and Construction and Mitsui & Co Ltd is building the NGL Extraction plant at Fahud. Finally, the pipeline ferrying the NGL from Fahud to Sohar is being constructed by Punj Lloyd Ltd.
When operational by 2019, LPIC will help maximize value addition from Oman’s hydrocarbon resources, notably by producing commercially valuable intermediate products such as polypropylene and polyethylene. Integrated with Orpic’s existing Sohar refinery and aromatics plant, LPIC will generate high value products that will enhance revenues for the group with attendant benefits for the wider economy as well.
Captive project to meet nitrogen gas requirements of $6.4bn petrochemicals scheme in Sohar.
Source Link: omanobserver.om