ABB-led group signs up for Sohar PP

22 February 2002

A joint venture of US-based ABB Lummus Global and South Korea's LG Internationalsigned on 17 February a heads of agreement with Sohar Refinery Company (SRC)to act as the foreign partner on the proposed 340,000-tonne-a-year polypropylene (PP) plant to be built as part of the Sohar refinery complex. Under the terms of the agreement, the ABB-led group will take a 40 per cent stake in a new company, which will build, own and operate the estimated RO 80 million ($205 million) plant. The remaining 60 per cent stake will be held by SRC (MEED 23:11:01, Oil & Gas).

Besides taking an equity position, the 50:50 joint venture between ABB and LG will be responsible for providing technology, the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) package, operation and maintenance, and offtake and marketing of the product.

The next stage in the project's implementation will be the signing of a joint venture agreement between SRC and the foreign group for the project company. One other company, Copenhagen-based Borealis, was shortlisted for the post of international partner.

The PP unit will receive its feedstock from the proposed $800 million refinery, which is currently out to tender among EPC contractors. Five are prequalifed to bid by late May for the 75,000-barrel-a-day facility, which has recently been expanded in scope to include a topping unit. The front-end engineering and design (FEED) package for the refinery has been prepared by Japan's JGC Corporation, while the project manager is ABB. SRC's financial adviser is Banc of America Investment Services. The refinery is expected to be completed in 2005.

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