Oman secures US$728mn ammonia project

AmmoniaThe ammonia plant will play important role for the sustainable growth for the country’s national downstream industries. (Image source: Nivellen77/Adobe Stock)Oman’s Salalah Methanol Company (SMC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Oman Oil Company (OOC), has secured US$728mn for funding Salalah ammonia plant from a mix of 12 international, regional and local banks

While the US$443mn will be used in building the ammonia project, the remaining portion will be used to refinance SMC’s existing debt, said the company.

With a targeted capacity of 1,000 tonnes per day of anhydrous liquid ammonia, the construction of the proposed ammonia plant is expected to start during Q4 2017, and is scheduled to be completed by 2020.

Isam al Zadjali, CEO of Oman Oil Co, said that the proposed ammonia project is vital for the economic diversification of Oman. The plant is expected to add value to the Sultanate’s petrochemical industry and aimed at opening further downstream opportunities in the region, creating job opportunities for the local people.

According to SMC, the ammonia plant will use the hydrogen-enriched by-product gas as feedstock from the methanol plant during producing ammonia, thus saving energy.

Unlike a greenfield ammonia plant of similar capacity, the Salalah ammonia plant will require significantly less amount of capital expenditure, which will eventually make it a competitive producer in comparison with other global leaders.

SMC has received loan for the ammonia project from Export Development Canada, Bank Muscat, BankDhofar, Standard Chartered Bank, Societe Generale, ING Bank, Ahli Bank Oman, Europe Arab Bank, Bank Sohar, Qatar National Bank, Apicorp and National Bank of Kuwait.

The ammonia plant is further expected to contribute to the nutritional needs by serving as a precursor to food and fertilisers. According to the company, the plant is planning to target Southeast Asian markets such as India, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea and Japan.

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