Octal sees massive interest in Europe
Muscat, May 12, 2008
Oman-based Octal Petrochemicals is targeting $500 million in sales in Europe and further international expansion.
Octal is making a massive statement in the downstream plastics industry, a development which is a great advertisement for Oman and Oman industry, said company officials following their successful participation at the world’s largest packaging exhibition in Germany.
Octal received hundreds of visitors from all over the world during the week-long Interpack Processes and Packaging 2008, held in Dusseldorf.
Octal’s global sales team conducted negotiations with more than 50 global buyers of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) resin and amorphous PET sheet – and have confirmed strong sales leads with at least 15 top consumer brands from Europe and North America, and 10 of the biggest ‘convertors’ (companies which turn plastic into packaging products). The show also generated significant investor interest, a statement said.
Commenting on Interpack 2008, Octal board member Rashid Saif Al Sadi said: “The target we set in February for PET and APET sales into Europe was $200 million per annum. But the excellent response we’ve seen at Interpack means we can be even more ambitious – and it’s clear that our integrated business model has struck a chord with the world’s biggest consumer packaging companies.”
Octal managing director Nicholas Barakat said: “With the oil price near $120 a barrel and spiraling food prices, the cost of packaging is becoming a critical concern to volume-driven consumer brands. Octal aims to be the largest polyester company based in the world’s lowest cost centre. That was the message at Interpack and the biggest buyers of PET and APET want to partner with us to develop their packaging strategies.”
Barakat said: “By collapsing the value chain through integration on one site, and by producing polymer products of superior quality, Octal is providing a solution for global companies which use packaging as a main tool of their businesses.”
Joe Barrenberg, COO of Octal, based at its US sales office in Dallas, Texas, said: “We’re seeing tremendous synergy between how we operate as a business and the needs of customers. Customers want to build relationships with materials companies to help them innovate better packaging and pull through advanced technology, and they understand that packaging is an increasingly important marketing tool to attract customers and build brands. Octal is positioned to serve these demands seamlessly and act as a packaging partner rather than simply a supplier.”
Octal recently announced plans to increase capacity in PET resins to 800,000 tonnes by May 2010, making it one of the world’s largest polyester producers. Production at its new integrated facility in Salalah will start in July and reach 330,000 tonnes per annum by March 2009. Around half of the capacity will be in PET resin and the rest APET sheets.
Octal’s pioneering DTS (direct to sheet) technology involves producing PET resin on site and then making amorphous PET sheet directly from the melted resin. Conventional APET production requires energy-intensive and expensive drying and melting of granular PET or ‘chips’, and the final product has lower optical and mechanical properties than Octal’s integrated APET sheet.
Based at Salalah Free Zone, Octal Petrochemicals’ integrated PET and APET sheet production plant is being built at an initial cost of $300 million. Total investment on the site is set to rise to as much as $1.2 billion upon completion. Net exports are expected to reach $1.1 billion by 2011. – TradeArabia News Service
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