Sohar refinery closed for scheduled maintenance



Muscat:  Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) yesterday announced that it has made the necessary arrangements for petroleum products to meet the domestic fuel demand at all three of its supply locations — Sohar, Muscat and Salalah — during the 46-day scheduled shutdown of two of its plants at the Sohar complex that began.

The OMR17.7 million investment in the shutdown, known as a 'turnaround' involves three-yearly heavy maintenance programmes at Orpic's Sohar refinery and the polypropylene plant that will improve efficiency and environmental performance, said a company release.

Turnaround
The 'turnaround' will involve wide-ranging maintenance of the plant equipment at Sohar refinery and the polypropylene plant. The maintenance aims to ensure integrity, reliability and availability of the plants to sustain operations over the coming years.

Khamis Al Maqbali, manager (Maintenance Planning Services) of Orpic, said: "A turnaround is a major event in the lifecycle of a refinery and its associated plants. It involves a huge amount of work from our employees and many outside contractors."
"This is a major engineering project involving tens of thousands of procedures to safely shut down, maintain and restart our equipment. With the plant totally shut down, we have the opportunity to conduct heavy maintenance throughout all the units."

"When we come back on line in early April, our plants will operate more efficiently and more cleanly as a result of this effort." More than 3,000 additional people will be on the site during the turnaround, supporting Orpic with the maintenance work. Al Maqbali said Orpic's goal during the turnaround was to complete the programme safely and on time, while continuing to supply the domestic demand for fuel.

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