What market need did Salalah Methanol Company see in order to create the ammonia project?
Salalah Methanol Company was formed in 2006 by Oman Oil Company as a state-of-the-art methanol production facility. The feedstock for the production of methanol is dry sweet natural gas supplied by the Ministry of Oil and Gas through the existing pipeline systems. We have the underlying infrastructure and most of the manufacturing facilities required to produce ammonia already embedded within the methanol facilities. Ammonia was commercially attractive, allowing us to fund the project entirely from the refinancing of existing Salalah Methanol Company assets to fund the project without relying on shareholders' equity.
How will you be connected to the Port of Salalah, and what does it represent for your eventual export markets?
Three years ago, the Port of Salalah built a new liquid jetty, requesting all industries that want to export to shift to the new liquid jetty. As a result, the ammonia project and Oman Gas Company's Salalah LPG project will connect the pipelines into the liquid jetty and then to the ships. This is the facility that we are building right now, and there is a pipe rack that has been constructed and will finish by early 2019. This pipe rack will be used to lay down our pipelines into the liquid jetty to connect our facilities with the port.
Who are the end users of your product?
Our target market is the fertilizer industry. If we target small industries, we expect it to be costly, especially if we plan to export the entire product. The majority of the cost will be shipping related. Companies in the fertilizer industry that seek raw materials to produce urea or other types of fertilizers buy ammonia as a feedstock. With that in mind, our market is Asia, mainly India and China.