The company structure is in place and OMC is in talks with Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau (KfW) about financing the second project, which would receive feedstock from the Oil & Gas Ministry.

OMC’s first plant is under construction and is due to start commercial production in the second quarter of 2007. The company has a 100 per cent offtake agreement with Germany’s Helm.

Shareholders in OMC are Trinidad’s Methanol Holding International, the local Omar Zawawi Establishment (Omzest) and Germany’s MAN Ferrostaal (MEED 18:11:05).

Second-phase expansions have been put on hold on a number of other petrochemical projects under development at Sohar, pending gas allocations.

As a result of the gas situation, the government is looking to develop capacity downstream from the first round of base

petrochemical projects (see page 30).