Groundbreaking celebration for Orpic’s Sohar Refinery Improvement Project

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 04 Jun 2014 19:09
Tags: m-east oman orpic refinery

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Sohar - Under the patronage of H.E. Muhana bin Saif Al Malki, Governor of Al Batina North Governorate, and in the presence of Musab bin Abdullah Al Mahruqi, CEO of Orpic (Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company) the company celebrated the Groundbreaking for its Sohar Refinery Improvement Project. The event was attended by a number of walis, members of the Majlis Al Shura, sheikhs, officials from the public and private sectors as well as a number of businessmen.

The celebration started with an introduction from Mr Al Mahruqi, in which he shed light on the economic and social importance of the project saying: “This is a highly significant moment for all of us at Orpic, and for the nation. The first of our three major projects is now officially under construction.

On completion SRIP will begin the fulfilment of Orpic’s mission and vision by ensuring the nation’s fuel needs are met and that our plants environmental performance is significantly better. It will ensure deeper conversion of the Omani crude barrel and extract more value that currently the case.”The guest of honour and Orpic CEO initiated the groundbreaking to mark the launch of construction work for the project, which is planned to be completed and operational in 2016. The project’s site neighbours Orpic’s Sohar Refinery. It marks a major step forward in Orpic’s future plans as it will significantly improve environmental performance and help Sohar Refinery overcome constraints resulting from changes in the quality of Oman Export Blend (OEB) crude oil. A key outcome of SRIP will be the guarantee that the Sultanate’s increasing demand for fuel will be met. Orpic has recently awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts to Daelim of South Korea and UK based Petrofac, and signed a contract for supply of the long lead equipment required for the project with a number of companies, all of which have long experience in implementing such projects.

National Importance of SRIP:
The project will upgrade the refinery’s overall efficiency and productivity by overcoming the existing technical constraints resulting from the change in OEB crude quality. This will give Sohar Refinery the ability to meet the increasing demand for oil and refined products, supporting the economic development of the Sultanate. Within the company’s operations, the level of integration will be raised significantly, with both the aromatics and polypropylene plants receiving increased feedstock requirements from within the Orpic Sohar complex, replacing imports. As a result, Sohar Refinery will take its place as one of the high capacity manufacturing operations in the region, and thanks to the current Residue Fluid Catalytic Cracker (RFCC) unit and the additional five new units such as the Hydrocracker, it will be able to refine crude oil of a much greater range of quality. The new additions will also enable the refinery to further increase the percentage utilization of each barrel of Omani crude. The refinery will be able to handle all primary initial quantities entering its units, allowing the output of refining operations to be high-quality fuel and high-value petrochemical products. The project will also enable the refinery to cope with unforeseen changes in crude oil quality, demonstrating the project’s importance at the national level in enhancing the extracted value from an oil barrel.Sohar Refinery’s existing capacity is 116,000 thousand barrels per day, and with SRIP boosting that figure by an additional 82,000 barrels of daily, the overall capacity will reach 198,000 barrels per day. This increase 70% increase in fuels is made up of production increases of 90% for diesel, 37% for gasoline, 93% for kerosene, 93% for jet fuel, 91% for LPG, 175% for naphtha and 44% for propylene.SRIP will also offer more than 500 new jobs. To staff the project a blended approach will be used, with new graduates and diploma holders being appointed to compliment experienced employees from the Sohar and Mina Al Fahal refineries, who will in turn have to be replaced by a new intake of talent. The company recently announced over 250 job opportunities for Omani graduates, continuing its mission to empower Omani youth and provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge needed for specialized jobs. Omanisation in the company currently stands at nearly 73%.

Environmental Improvements

Enhancement of environmental performance will be a key benefit that SRIP will bring to Sohar Refinery. The new units will ease the pressure on the existing set-up in the refinery which currently operates at maximum capacity to meet the growing fuel demand in the Sultanate. With the new units online emissions resulting from capacity pressure will be reduced. After the improvement, the refinery will be also able to process high density crude oil effectively, which will in turn increase performance efficiency and operational utilization and reduce the potential for technical failures as a result of the challenge of processing high density crude oil, and for resulting emissions and odours. The SRIP units are designed to adhere to both local and European Union environmental regulations as well as the environmental standards applied by the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States, ensuring that technical equipment and processes used in the project are of the highest standard. The design also took into account guidelines issued by the Sohar Environment Unit regarding management of waste materials, industrial waste and safety operations.

In-Country Value Support

In-Country Value (ICV) is a key theme for Orpic, so the company has developed frameworks and insights to support ICV within SRIP, offering the maximum benefit to local business owners from the economic value of the various elements of the project. Meetings have already been held between the SRIP contractor and the local vendors in the Al Batinah North Governorate. These meetings will continue to engage with potential local and national suppliers throughout the project execution stage in order to maximize the value from the project. Orpic currently provides 100% of the Sultanate’s needs of fuel, so with SRIP raising the refinery’s productivity, Orpic will be able to meet growing local demand (10% per annum) and increase profitability. For the country, maximizing the economic benefits from every barrel of crude oil after refining and converting it into high-value products is critical in the management of this most precious of national assets. And in terms of another national asset, SRIP will boost the company`s ability to provide more jobs for Omani youth, making it of the largest employers of Omanis in the Sultanate.

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