Start-up activities at LPIC Project in Oman

Commercial production has begun at the Liwa Plastics Industry Complex (LPIC) in Oman, bringing OQ (formerly ORPIC) closer to its goals of diversifying the national economy and supporting the development of a downstream plastics industry.

Tasked with providing all onsite logistics services for the project, MdR is playing a key role in LIPC’s development. Our involvement begins from the bottom of the silos and continues until the loading of containers and flatbed trailers, including all necessary operational, administrative, and maintenance activities.

MdR has been performing commissioning activities on site since January 2019 and, upon the client’s request, these activities were initially taken care of by a small team. The core of activities centred around LMS optimisation and end-user validation, as well as operational review, including writing procedures.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions, it was not possible to extend the commissioning team to the extent normally required by MdR standards. Therefore, the team worked with remote support to achieve its goals.

In August 2020 MdR received the go-ahead for the start-up phase and began the recruitment of personnel and procurement of equipment required for the project. Although resources from abroad were also hampered by travel restrictions, the team was able to execute the start-up as per the kick-off date of December 2020.

As of January 2021, OQ started the polypropylene production line at a rate of 35 tonnes per hour with a yearly capacity of 300.000 tonnes. A few weeks later the PE1 production line started at a moderate rate of 40 tonnes per hours with an annual capacity of 440.000 tonnes (rated capacity of more than 50 tonnes per hour).

At the beginning of April 2021, OQ will start the PE2 production line at 40 tonnes per hour with a capacity of 440.000 tonnes annually. OQ intends to run all 3 production lines and ramp-up to full capacity within 2-3 months. For MdR this means ramping up packaging and dispatch activities to more than 150 containers per day during commercial operation.

As in other GCC countries, there is a strong focus on localisation and there are specific targets to employ Omani personnel. By the end of February 2021, the local team consists of 159 employees of which 68 are experienced expats and 91 are locally recruited employees new to this type of business. MdR is still working on recruiting or transferring experienced expat personnel to support training efforts and further increase productivity.

MdR General Manager Rudy Sadi said: “It has been a great pleasure to work with our team of professionals on this project, especially under the leadership of Mr. Baheej Al Biqawi. MdR has demonstrated its ability to deal with changing client requirements even under extremely difficult circumstances. My compliments to all who are making this possible. I am convinced that MdR will be awarded many more projects in Oman.”