Dow signs up for Sohar

23 July 2004
Dow Chemical Companyof the US ended months of speculation on 20 July by agreeing to act as foreign partner on a world-scale olefins complex at Sohar. A joint statement from Muscat and Michigan said that the joint venture will design, build and operate the petrochemicals facility. Dow will take a 50 per cent stake in the project while Oman Oil Company (OOC)and the government will each take 25 per cent.

Neither Dow nor OOC would give any further details on the scope and cost of the project. However, past indications have been of a $2,000 million plant with capacity of about 900,000 tonnes a year (t/y), comprising an ethane cracker and three downstream units producing low-density polyethylene (LDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE). Construction is scheduled to begin in 2005. BNP Paribasis acting as financial adviser (MEED 9:4:04).

The shareholders' agreement follows hard on the heels of an agreement by Kuwait's Gulf Investment Corporationto take a 20 per cent stake in the Oman Polypropyleneventure, also at Sohar, replacing US-based ABB Lummus Global. The other shareholders are OOC, with 60 per cent, and South Korea's LG International(MEED 2:7:04).

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