Meijer said that projects to start operating next year include the 116,000-barrel-a-day Sohar refinery, which is due to enter commissioning in April followed by full operations in August. A similar schedule is planned for the 340,000-tonne-a-year Oman Polypropylene plant, which is to use feedstock from the refinery. An April opening is also planned for the shipping pallet manufacturing plant owned by PVAXX Industries of Bermuda.

SIPC, a joint venture of the government of Oman and Rotterdam Municipal Port Management, has been mandated to develop the port and attract major industries. In October, Hong Kong-based Hutchison Port Holdingssigned an agreement with Muscat and Rotterdam-based Steinweg to establish Oman International Container Terminal at the Port of Sohar (MEED 14:10:05).

Developments and prospects at the port are to be addressed in the Port of Sohar: Anchoring Success conference being organised by MEED and SIPC in Muscat on 15-16 October. Among the 46 speakers will be Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and Oman’s Commerce & Industry Minister Maqbool bin Ali Sultan. For more information about the conference, see www.meed.com