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20 July 2024

Octal says Phase I of ‘tank farm’ on schedule

By Staff Writer



Oman-based Octal Petrochemicals yesterday said work is on track for the first phase of its $50 million (Dh183.6m) ‘tank farm’, the first liquid chemicals terminal in the region.


The project is scheduled to be completed by June, the company said in a statement.


The liquid chemical storage terminal located at the Port of Salalah will support Octal’s drive to capture a 20 per cent share of the $2.25 billion global APET (amorphous polyethylene terephthalate) sheet market and become the largest PET (polyethylene terephthalate) resin manufacturer in the Middle East, Octal said.


The first phase of the terminal will comprise two 5,000 metric tonne steel tanks designed to receive mono-ethylene glycol (MEG).


Discussions are in progress with Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, the world’s largest MEG producer, to supply Octal’s requirements through the new terminal.


Octal will pump feedstock chemicals off ship to the tanks and then pipe them 1,000 metres underground to Octal’s main processing plant at Salalah Free Zone.


The system removes the need for overland transport, improving safety, reliability and cost efficiency.


The second phase of the terminal, due to be completed by September 2009, will add a third 5,000 metric tonne tank to accommodate expansion at the factory site.


The third phase, which will reach completion in 2011, will increase capacity by a further six tanks.


All the tanks will be located within a 10,600-square metre area reserved for Octal at the Port of Salalah.


The piping and supporting transport infrastructure for the whole project will be in place by May.


The first three tanks will hold MEG; the remaining six will contain other chemicals.


Rashid Saif Al Sadi, a member of the Board of Directors of Octal Petrochemicals, said: “We aim to produce in Salalah the most cost-effective, high-quality products on the world market, and to do that we need the most advanced processes that will operate efficiently 24/7.”


He said: “The new tank farm is very much in line with our strategy to source from the Middle East raw materials in large quantities at the lowest possible cost.


This tank farm delivers raw material in the most efficient way with secure environmental safeguards.”


Commenting on the supply of MEG to Octal from Sabic, Al Sadi said: “Octal Petrochemicals will become one of Sabic’s biggest customers for MEG as a result of this agreement.”


Gary Lemke, Port of Salalah CEO, said: “Octal’s ambitious growth plans are playing a very important role in the development of the Port of Salalah – and they are raising the profile of Salalah as an ideal location for quality, large-scale manufacturing for international export.


Octal’s chemical storage facility is a first for the port.”


Based at Salalah Free Zone, Octal Petrochemicals is building a state-of-the-art integrated PET and APET production plant, at an initial cost of $300m. 


Total investments in the plant are set to rise to $1bn upon completion with two phases of expansion scheduled for 2009 and 2011.


The chemical storage facility will support Octal’s growth.


Production capacity, which is now at 30,000 metric tonnes per annum, is projected to rise to 330,000 by early 2009, with annual global export sales expected to reach $500m by the year-end.