Oman’s state refiner Orpic has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with US catalysts manufacturer W R Grace and Oman’s Sohar University for the $3mn first phase of a program to build and operate an R&D facility at the university. Orpic says the laboratory will be “equipped with the latest catalyst testing technology” and will “result in a high quality service with rapid response times for many of the technical requirement of the nearby Orpic refinery.”

Orpic recently secured $2.8bn financing for an expansion of Sohar refinery capacity from 116,000 b/d to 197,000 b/d by 2017 (MEES, 9 May). (CONTINUED - 270 WORDS)