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Octal targets $450m annual sales

Muscat, August 25, 2008

Octal Petrochemicals has said its global annual sales will reach $450 million by year end and its second plant, built in 19 months, will ramp up production of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) resins from this October.

Octal's phase-two expansion will make it the largest polyester company in the Middle East and one of the biggest on one site outside China.

The company plans to open a new sales office in Europe by the end of the year, complementing sales offices in Dallas and Shanghai.

Nicholas Barakat, managing director of Octal Petrochemicals, said: 'Octal has so far generated sales worth more than $55 million through its offices in Europe, China and the US. Customers understand the distinct quality advantages involved in our integrated one-site production model.

'The efficiencies we bring are increasingly attractive in the current environment of high energy costs.'

The Oman-based company, which celebrated two years of operations on Monday, recognised the support of its principal lenders, Bank Muscat and Bank Dhofar, by presenting them crystal awards. Octal board member Rashid Saif Al Sadi gave away the awards.

The banks had participated in Octal's initial investment of $350 million announced last November.

Rashid Saif Al Sadi said: 'Octal is fulfilling its expansion strategy to become a homegrown global petrochemicals leader, and the involvement of Oman's leading financial institutions has been critical to our success.

'We thank our Omani bankers, the Salalah Free Zone and the Oman government for their support.'

He said: 'Octal is the largest exporter from the port of Salalah, a growing employer and a significant investor in local and regional suppliers.

'We have come a very long way in a short space of time and our progress would not have been possible without the confidence of local and regional investors.

'Octal's rapid development shows the potential of Oman as a location for manufacturing and the qualities of doing business in Salalah Free Zone.'

Rashid Saif Al Sadi also thanked BankMuscat for its lead advisory, trade finance and treasury expertise and BankDhofar for participating in the lending process.

AbdulRazak Ali Issa, chief executive, Bank Muscat said: 'We are happy to be involved in Octal in various roles.

'Our involvement as financial advisor, equity investor, Mandated Lead Arranger and the largest lender demonstrates our confidence in this Omani project and its prospects.'

Kris Babici, chief executive officer of BankDhofar, said: 'BankDhofar is proud to be associated with Octal, and we have a strong emotional attachment to this project because it has been set up in the Dhofar region.

'The company's initiative is well conceived and is being executed with precision.'

Octal Petrochemicals' other Oman-based investors include Nifco (National Investment Fund Company), Muscat Overseas Group, Oman Investment Company, Malatan Trading and Contracting, Oman and Emirates Investment Holding, Suhail Bahwan Group, and Didic (Dhofar International Development & Investment Holding Company), and BankMuscat.

Individual and institutional investors from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the US are also onboard.

Operational in six months, phase one 2006 saw Octal's entry into PET sheet production for global export.

Octal has also commissioned the first phase of a liquid chemicals terminal at Salalah port, the first ‘tank farm’ of its type in the region.

The first two 5,000 metric ton tanks at the terminal are designed to receive mono-ethylene glycol (MEG).

Between 2009 and 2012 more than 20 million metric tons of plastic raw materials capacity will come on-stream in the Gulf.

Octal's aggressive expansion will allow it to penetrate the global market fo


Tags: | Octal Petrochemicals | polyethylene terephthalate |

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