Oman’s state refiner Orpic held a groundbreaking ceremony on 3 June to mark the start of building its Sohar Refinery Improvement Project (SRIP). “The first of our three major projects is now officially under construction,” Orpic CEO Musab al-Mahruqi says. “On completion SRIP will begin the fulfillment of Orpic’s mission and vision by ensuring the nation’s fuel needs are met and that our plant’s environmental performance is significantly better. It will ensure deeper conversion of the Omani crude barrel and extract more value.”

Orpic says SRIP, which will raise crude distillation capacity from 116,000 b/d to 197,000 b/d while expanding the quantity and quality of gasoline and diesel output, will start-up in 2016. Orpic awarded a $2.1bn engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to UK’s Petrofac and Korea’s Daelim, who will build a number of new units including a 66,400 b/d hydrocracker (MEES, 29 November 2013). The start of civil work follows Orpic’s securing of a $2.8bn loan from a consortium of 21 financial institutions (MEES, 9 May). (CONTINUED - 266 WORDS)