Emalab, owned by Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa al-Nahyan, has appointed the US’ UOPfor process licensing, the supply of catalysts and absorbents, and commissioning services. Italy’s Ballestrais carrying out the detailed engineering and procurement. Emalab will be responsible for the construction works. The consultant is Tebodinof the Netherlands.

The plant, to be located beside the Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC)refinery, is due to be commissioned in early 2004. A second-phase development is planned which envisages the construction of a normal-paraffin (n-paraffin) unit and the doubling of the LAB capacity.

Emalab is planning to secure the n-paraffin and benzene feedstock for LAB production on the international market. The plant’s output will be sold to detergent manufacturers in the region.

Recent months have seen several LAB/n-paraffin projects being announced in the Gulf. Two are under consideration in Saudi Arabia, while studies have recently started for a third, in Qatar (MEED 12:7:02; 31:5:02).