SOHAR Port and Freezone to create 300 jobs
SOHAR Port and Freezone has announced that has inked a deal with Oman International Petrochemical Industry Company (OMPET) to build a fully renewable manufacturing facility, which will create 300 new jobs.
The plant will produce close to 1.5 million tonnes of environmentally-friendly packaging materials and complement the port’s existing petrochemicals supply chain while feed into a global beverage industry that is currently valued at approximately $1.3 trillion.
The agreement will see OMPET lease a 330,000 square metre plot at SOHAR for the production of 250 kilotons of Poly Ethylene Terephthalate (PET), which is used to manufacture bottles that are primarily used to package soft drinks and single-serve beverages.
PET can also be recycled for use in producing anything from polyester clothing, to sleeping bag insulation and carpeting. Once fully operational the new facility will create 300 direct jobs and produce 1.1 million tonnes of PTA – the raw material used to produce PET.
In a further bid to ensure the long-term sustainability of the project, the OMPET manufacturing plant will be located next to Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) and will consume all of the paraxylene produced by Orpic’s Aromatics unit.
Paraxylene is a key ingredient in producing fully renewable PTA and, together with a global distribution centre that will be also built, the OMPET plant is just one of five brand new facilities to be added to SOHAR’s petrochemical cluster over the next five years.
“We are delighted to have finalised a deal with OMPET to lease a significant part of the port for producing renewable packaging materials. Demand for PET packaging globally reached 12 million tonnes in 2010, and this will continue to grow to around 20 million by 2019,” said SOHAR's chief executive officer, Andre Toet.
“While the processes and technology to produce environmentally-friendly packaging have been around for some time, we believe that SOHAR possesses the raw materials, energy, and ideal location to capitalise on encouraging market trends, and produce and distribute it on a global commercial scale,” he added.
“Not only is it essential for the local economy that we continue to attract global players in growing markets, but the plant will also have extremely important implications for climate change and the environment.”