The Sohar Refinery Improvement Project (SRIP) is a multibillion dollar capital investment for Orpic. It is a response to the need to upgrade refining capability in order to further maximize the value of Omani crude oil. At the same time it will significantly improve environmental performance on the back of the recent progress made Orpic’s Environmental Improvement Programme (EIP). The Environmental Permits for SRIP were issued in July 2013, and in terms of siting the project, land agreements were finalised in August 2013 for a plot adjacent to the Sohar Refinery. The project is scheduled for commissioning in 2016.
SRIP adds five new units, improving Sohar Refinery’s ability to process heavier Omani crude oil. The five units are:
• Crude Distillation Unit (CDU)
• Vacuum Distillation Unit (VDU)
• Delayed Coker Unit (DCU)
• Hydrocracker Unit (HCU)
• Bitumen Blowing Unit
When SRIP comes onstream current production of fuels, naphtha and propylene will be raised by 70%. From the fuels perspective this increase will answer the continuing growth of fuel consumption in the country, which has grown by 10% annually over the past 5 years. At the same time, the feedstock needs of the company’s aromatics and polypropylene plants will be met, and with the increased supply of naphtha Orpic will be able to reduce naphtha purchases from 75% of its total requirement down to 25%. The product range will be expanded, with Orpic able for the first time to produce bitumen, primarily used to manufacture asphalt, and in increasing demand in the Sultanate for infrastructural projects.
Post-SRIP Orpic’s fuels production will increase by 4.2mn tonnes a year, with overall production levels reaching 13mn tonnes per annum in 2016.
Aside from the immediate commercial benefits that SRIP brings to the business, it will have an impact in other areas. 300 direct, permanent jobs will be created by SRIP, as well as around 2,400 Omani contract roles over the project lifetime. In the region of 900 indirect jobs will be generated by the multiplier effect SRIP will have on the local economy. In-Country value is an integral part of SRIP and substantial local business participation has been written into the project.