Oman's ORPIC awards two contracts for plastics complex

MUSCAT, March 26 Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:09am EDT

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MUSCAT, March 26 (Reuters) - State-owned Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Co (ORPIC) said it had awarded two contracts for construction of a $3.6 billion plastics production complex, the Liwa Plastics Project.

Engineers India Ltd of New Delhi will operate the project management company, while the contract for front-end engineering and design was won by Netherlands-based Chicago Bridge & Iron Co, ORPIC said in a statement seen on Wednesday without giving the value of the deals.

The plant will be built in Oman's northern industrial city of Sohar, next to ORPIC's oil refinery and petrochemical plants. Pre-qualifying of companies to bid for the engineering, procurement and construction contract will be finished by the end of this year, ORPIC said.

The Liwa Plastics Project is due to be completed in 2018, doubling ORPIC's profitability by allowing it to extract more value from Omani crude oil and natural gas, the company said.

The project will boost ORPIC's annual production of polypropylene and polyethylene to 1.4 million tonnes, increasing Oman's exports, while additional production of 1 million tonnes of plastics will help to develop downstream industries within the country, ORPIC added.

Oman is pouring billions of dollars into efforts to industrialise its economy and create jobs.

A crackdown on corruption in the award of state contracts during recent months has resulted in nearly 30 people being sentenced to prison terms ranging from one to 23 years, raising concern among some executives that business activity could slow.

However, ORPIC's award of the Liwa contracts suggests major projects are progressing. (Reporting by Fatma Alarami; Writing by Andrew Torchia)

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