Orpic secures financing for Sohar refinery upgrade

Oman Oil Refineries & Petroleum Industries Co. (Orpic) has signed a $2.8 billion loan agreement with a consortium of 21 international and national financial institutions to help fund the company’s projects, including the Sohar Refinery Improvement Project (SRIP), which will be 65% debt financed.

The agreement was signed in Muscat, Oman on Apr. 30, Orpic said in a May 1 release.

The consortium includes local banks Bank Muscat, National Bank of Oman, Al Ahli Bank, Bank Dhofar, Bank Sohar, and Oman Arab Bank.

International financial institutions participating include Korea’s export credit agencies (ECA) KExim and KSure, Italy’s ECA Sace, HSBC, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., KFW IPEX Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Qatar National Bank, Saudi National Commercial Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Standard Chartered Bank, Arab Banking Corp, Arab Petroleum Investment Corp., Ahli United Bank, and Arab Bank.

While the loan will be used to finance other projects, the company’s SRIP will be a priority for its growth strategy, according to Orpic (OGJ Online, Mar. 31, 2014; Nov. 25, 2013; Mar. 4, 2011).

A brownfield project, SRIP includes a major technical improvement to the existing 116,400-b/d Sohar refinery and is designed to improve the plant’s ability to overcome existing technical constraints associated with processing the changing quality of Oman Export Blend (OEB) crude, meet international environmental standards, serve growing domestic demand for refined products, and enhance the refinery’s competitiveness and profitability, Orpic said.

As part of the project, SRIP will improve the residue fluidized catalytic cracker (RFCC) unit feed quality to meet design parameters, meet the polymer-grade propylene demand of the polypropylene plant, maximize additional gasoline and diesel production, ensure that all fuel products from the refinery conform with Euro IV norms and meet current product specifications where these are better than Euro IV, produce quality-tailored naphtha for the aromatics plant, and equip the refinery to produce bitumen and petroleum coke, according to the company.

In addition to the revamped RFCC, the SRIP will involve integrating five new units at the refinery, including a hydrocracker and coker, which will boost crude throughputs by 70% by adding 82,000 b/d of new OEB crude oil processing capacity to achieve a total refining capacity of 198,000 b/d, the company said.

Once completed, Orpic said SRIP will eliminate fuel oil yields from the refinery entirely as well as increase the plant’s product yields for diesel (90%), gasoline (37%), jet fuel (93%), LPG (91%), naphtha (175%), and propylene (44%).

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