The current schedule sees a preliminary information memorandum (PIM) for the debt issued at the beginning of next year and the facility in place early in the second quarter of 2004.

Apicorp has emerged as the frontrunner after the field of interested banks narrowed to three in late July. The two other financial institutions in the race were BNP Paribasand Gulf International Bank (MEED 1:8:03).

It is understood that the nature of the mandate has changed since the original invitation to bid was issued late last year (MEED 30:1:03). What was originally a pure advisory brief is understood to have been expanded to include an element of underwriting. The total debt requirement for the proposed plant is expected to be about $170 million (MEED 13:6:03).

OPP is taking its feedstock from Sohar Refinery Company, which is itself close to launching its commercial debt package to syndication (see right).

OPP is a joint venture between Oman Oil Company, which has a 60 per cent stake, and South Korea’s LG Internationaland The Hague office of ABB Lummus Global, with 20 per cent each. The plant, scheduled for completion in 2006, is expected to cost $200 million-250 million and will have capacity of 340,000 tonnes a year of various grades of polypropylene (MEED 6:12:02).