Oman's downstream operator Orpic expects full operational capacity of new units added as part of the $2.7bn improvement of its refinery at Sohar by 2018, according to a senior official.
"We're expecting to have full operational capacity of Sohar Refinery Improvement Programme (SRIP) by 2018," said Said al-Mahrouqi, planning and optimisation manager at Orpic. He was speaking at the 8th Argus Middle East Oil Products Conference in Dubai on 23 October.
"We have commissioned SRIP, we have also commissioned the Muscat-Sohar Product Pipeline project," he said.
"We have introduced new units at Sohar and production has increased by 70 per cent," he added.
MEED reported that Oman had completed the expansion of the 198,000 barrel-a-day refinery at Sohar in September.
The main contract to expand capacity from 82,000 b/d to 198,000 b/d was first tendered in late 2012 and was awarded to a consortium of the UK's Petrofac and South Korea's Daelim in 2014. However, construction work on the refinery, which was earmarked for a 2016 completion, had been delayed.
"Our intention was to finish commissioning in Q3 and we finished commissioning last month or so by and by the start of Q4 we have commissioned all units," said Al-Mahrouqi.
"We will now have more products, more fuels at better quality, also less emission of harmful gases. There are two other aims - we'll produce more naphtha, so instead of 30 per cent that is provided by the refinery, it will be 70 per cent. Our aromatics facility will see 70 per cent of its demand internally by the refinery, and 30 per cent will be imported," he added.
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