India’s Oswal Group will finish the front-end engineering and design (Feed) on its planned $350m world-scale caustic soda plant located at Salalah in southern Oman by the end of July.

A source familiar with the project says that the facility, which will produce around 365,000 tonnes-a-year of caustic soda that can be used for alumina and paper production as well as oil drilling, will be sold to regional customers as well as to Oswal’s other key markets in Asia and Australia.

“Everything is going well and Oswal is nearing the end of the first engineering stage of the project. When that is completed then everyone will know more about the future milestones in regards to tenders.”

Invitations to bid for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the plant are expected to be issued during the third quarter of 2010, with submissions in the fourth quarter and an award made in the first quarter of 2011.

Oswal has signed a technology agreement for the facility with Japan’s Chlorine Engineers Corporation, while  Canada’s SNC-Lavalin conducted the feasibility study and is currently conducting the Feed.

The plant will be located close to Salalah Port and the company’s website states that Oman Power and Water Procurement Company has allotted up to 150 megawatts of power for the project.