Oman’s state-owned industrial investment vehicle Takamul Investment Company is planning to build a plant to produce purified isophthalic acid (PIA), an intermediate chemical used in the production of plastic resins.

The facility, which will be located in the northern port of Sohar, is planned to have a capacity of 100,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of PIA.

It will complement the purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) project being planned by Takamul’s parent company Oman Oil Company (OOC) in Sohar. PIA is mixed with PTA in the production of PET, which is used to make plastic drinks bottles.

The PIA scheme is at an early stage, with the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) tender expected to be floated in the second quarter of 2014.  

Both the PIA and PTA/PET projects are designed to add value to the aromatics chemicals produced by Oman Oil Refineries & Petrochemicals Company (orpic) at Sohar, which will provide the metaxylene feedstock and act as a partner for the proposed PIA plant.

The schemes form part of a significant expansion of Oman’s downstream sector in Sohar, with Orpic also planning an expansion of the refinery, a $3.6bn steam cracker and polyolefin chemicals complex, and a fuel pipeline connecting Sohar with Orpic’s other refinery in Muscat.