The contract’s scope of works includes project management of owners’ support services and carrying out the six-month front-end engineering and design (FEED) of the process plant and utilities. The contract will also include basic engineering of offsite facilities. The next stage in the project implementation will be the issue of an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.

The estimated $2,000 million-2,300 million project calls for the construction of an ethane cracker with capacity of just under 1 million tonnes a year, three polyethylene (PE) and two polypropylene (PP) units, a gas treatment plant and a natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionation plant.

Financial close on the project is due in 2006. BNP Paribasis financial adviser. Formed in late 2004, OPIC is a joint venture between the government, Oman Oil Companyand the US’ Dow Chemical Company.