Oman signed an early works agreement with JGC Corp of Japan for the construction of the Sohar Refinery project, involving an investment of nearly $1 billion.

The contract paves the way for the construction of a world-scale refinery at the new heavy industrial zone coming up alongside the Sohar Industrial Port Complex.

Dr Mohammed bin Hamed Al Rumhi, Oman's Minister of Oil and Gas told newsmen that the project was a key element of the government's industrialisation and economic diversification programme.

In fact, the refinery venture will herald the birth of a polypropylene industry in Oman. The facility will have a crude unit with a capacity of 116,400 barrels per day (bpd) and a Residue Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (RFCCU) with a capacity of 75,260 bpd.