Expanding polymer horizons globally

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Through its polymer division, Orpic is looking to double the company’s profit, create new business opportunities, generate significant employment and support the development of a downstream plastics industry in Oman. An OER Report

Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company’s (Orpic) refineries in Suhar and Muscat, as well as the integrated Aromatics and Polypropylene Plants provide fuel, petrochemicals, polymers, and other petroleum products to the Sultanate and to the world.

The company has charted an ambitious growth plan to increase its asset base by over $9bn and its product portfolio by over four million tonnes/year of fuels and polymers. One of Orpic’s strategic projects, Liwa Plastics Industries Complex (LPIC), which is set to be commissioned in 2020, is all set to transform the company’s product portfolio and business model as plastics production will increase by more than 1.2 million tonnes, giving the company a total of 1.5 million tonnes of polypropylene and polyethylene production.

Gilles Rochas, General Manager, Polymer Marketing at Orpic averred, “The LPIC project, once operational, will double the company’s profit, create new business opportunities, generate direct and indirect jobs and support the development of a downstream plastics industry in Oman.”

“Global demand for Polypropylene and Polyethylene is expected to be over 190 million metric tonnes by 2021. While the demand for Polypropylene is 83.7 million MT– 4.5 per cent growth (2016-2021), the demand for Polyethylene is expected to be 112.3 million MT– 4.2 per cent growth (2016-2021). The polymer industry in the GCC is expected to reach 34.5 million tonnes by 2022, supporting further downstream development while growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3 per cent, according to the GCC Plastic Industry Indicators Report 2016”, mentioned Faisal Al Hajri, Regional Sales Manager at Orpic.

LPIC project’s completion will enhance production capacity to 440kT LLDPE, 440kT HDPE and 640kT PP respectively. The new technologies will allow the introduction of new products such as Polypropylene Homopolymer, Random and Block copolymers, HDPE and LLDPE targeting the automotive, construction, infrastructure, advance packaging and healthcare industries.

Expanding its footprint

Orpic is one of Oman’s largest companies, and one of the most rapidly growing businesses in the Middle East oil industry. The Polymer Marketing division was established in 2017 to support the company’s vision to become a globally competitive, downstream business that Oman is proud of, while achieving profitable and sustainable growth. Aspiring to achieve all round excellence, Orpic is keen to provide its customers with the very best in terms of sales, marketing, technical and supply chain support.

Driven by best business practices, Orpic’s objective is to competitively offer differentiated Polypropylene and Polyethylene products to customers.

Headquartered in Muscat, the Polymer Marketing division, is aiming to expand the Polypropylene and Polyethylene product portfolio, to service new geographies and to increase market share and revenue, while contributing to the development of the local Omani community and global polyolefin industry.

Ali Al Jabri, Supply Chain Manager at Orpic explained: “With Polymer Marketing, Orpic is further expanding its global footprint to more than 100 countries. The goal is to enter new markets and increase the number of customers to more than 3,000 by selecting optimum channels to market; innovative and differentiated products; industry-leading sales, marketing, technical and supply chain support; setting up subsidiaries / offices in strategic markets. Orpic’s China, Singapore offices have already opened in 2018; and our India, Turkey offices will open in the future. Our target markets are the Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Africa, North Asia, South East Asia, Europe and America.”

“It is vital for Orpic to connect with its customers, exchange expertise and identify new potential markets and customers. We are keen to demonstrate our commitment to win customer preference over competition and to present our polypropylene and polyethylene solutions to the world,” said Ali Al Lawati, Manager Representative India, at Orpic.

Orpic’s products are sold under the brand name of Luban in more than 60 countries. Luban in Arabic means frankincense, predominantly found in northern part of Oman.

Reinventing the downstream industry

Orpic is supporting Oman’s plastic downstream industry development to fulfill the local and international demand for plastic goods.

“We see a lot of potential for Oman turning into a global hub for polymer-based product applications in areas such as the healthcare, automobile, packaging and textile industries. Orpic is keen to attract investors in downstream plastics in Oman who can export their goods to domestic and international markets. We will provide all the technical and marketing know-how to make it an attractive proposition for investors to operate in the Sultanate,” said Cristian Hedesiu – Marketing Manager of Orpic.

Orpic is committed to supporting Oman’s plastic downstream industry development by taking a leadership role in promoting plastic downstream development through diverse strategies:

  • Engaging with key stakeholders such as convertors, and academia, besides supporting infrastructure and logistics and standardisation bodies.
  • Providing market intelligence, new opportunities and technical support to existing plastic convertors and potential investors in plastic downstream industry willing to use Orpic’s PP and PE raw materials.
  • Encouraging converters to recycle their waste and use recyclable materials in their products.

Community focussed

Through Orpic’s CSR initiatives, ‘People’ and the ‘Planet’ remain of prime importance, while achieving the business target of ‘Profit’ – operating as a responsible member of the local Omani community and global polyolefin industry. Orpic is supporting and funding initiatives, such as switching from single use plastic bags to multiuse plastic bags, eliminating environmental impacts, while enhancing social wellbeing.

Orpic is an active member of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) and participates in its campaigns to encourage the responsible use and disposal of plastics. ‘Waste Free Environment’ for instance, is an annual environmental and educational initiative that falls under GPCA’s broader advocacy pillar. The campaign aims to promote responsible litter disposal and educate the youth on waste management and consumption. Locally, Orpic, in cooperation with Environment Society of Oman (ESO), contributes voluntarily in educational and awareness campaigns regarding the environmental impact caused by littering on land, air and marine life.

That’s not all – the company is collaborating with research centres and universities such as Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) for partial funding of its engineering design lab, which aims at serving engineering students at the College of Engineering, enhancing their innovation capabilities, developing students’ projects and prototypes and serving the community.

Suhar University and Grace Laboratories in collaboration with Orpic, have established a world-class, fully licensed Material Characterisation Lab in Oman to eliminate the need to send samples abroad for testing. The company is also partnering with other colleges to assist students in their projects related to recycling of plastics and ‘green’ value chain processes.

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