A group of at least five banks have pitched for the role to advise Oman Oil Company (OOC) and South Korea’s LG International (LGI) on the development of a $850m petrochemical plant being built at Sohar Port.

The bidders are:

  • Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi (Japan)
  • HSBC (UK)
  • ING (Netherlands)
  • Societe Generale (France)
  • Standard Chartered (UK)
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (Japan)

The project sponsors aim to appoint an international bank as financial adviser, then partner them with an Omani bank. A process of selecting a local bank as financial adviser is also under way in tandem.

Once in place, the financial advisers will work on the structuring and fundraising for the project, which will produce 1.1 million tonnes a year (t/y) of purified terephthalic acid and 500,000 t/y of polyethylene terephthalate, used to make bottles and packaging. The sponsors want the scheme to be operational by the end of 2016.

OOC will hold a 70 per cent stake in the project and the rest will be held by LGI.

The project, along with another petrochemicals plant being developed by Takamul Investment Company,are part of Oman’s plans to create a downstream industrial cluster in Sohar, feeding off a $1.5bn expansion of an existing refinery in the area.