Air Liquide and Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic), Oman’s national refining company, has signed a long-term agreement for the supply of nitrogen (N2) to the Liwa Plastics Industries Complex (LPIC).

The LPIC is a new plastics production complex which includes the country’s first steam cracker. Orpic is adding to its existing production facilities, in Sohar industrial port area in Oman.

Investing around $20m to build a state-of-the-art N2 production unit with a total capacity of 500 tonnes of N2 per day, Air Liquide will strengthen its leadership position in a key Industrial area to support the growth of its customer Orpic.

Expected to start operations in the first quarter of 2019, the new N2 plant, along with the expansion of Air Liquide’s existing pipeline network, will supply N2 for the customer’s plastics production complex expanding to a capacity of polyethylene and polypropylene of 1.4m tonnes per year. Those plastics components are needed for many applications in derived products from petroleums such as packaging industries as well as other industrial applications.

The N2 production unit will be designed and built by Air Liquide’s Engineering and Construction teams using cutting edge technologies. It will be owned and operated by Air Liquide Sohar Industrial Gases Company.

François Jackow, member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee, supervising Africa, Middle East and India, said, “We are pleased to strengthen our relationship with a strategic petrochemical player such as Orpic. Air Liquide demonstrates its ability to continue capitalising on its existing assets, such as its pipeline network located in the most dynamic industrial basin of Sohar. With this new N2 supply contract, Air Liquide will support the development of the petrochemical industry in Oman.”

Christiaan van der Wouden, Chief Operating Officer of Orpic, said, “Orpic is pleased to expand its collaboration with Air Liquide and to secure the highest competitive, reliable and safe supply of N2 to the Liwa plastics Industries Complex (LPIC) project, which is critical to the development of a downstream plastics industry in Oman.”