Engineering Contract Pörner Engineers to Furnish Know-how for Refining Flagship in Oman

Editor: Dr. Jörg Kempf

Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries (ORPIC) modernizes their refinery in Sohar Oman to the value of $ 1.8 billion. The Pörner Group, a leading Austrian engineering company, were commissioned for the license and engineering of a Biturox bitumen production plant.

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Scheme of a Biturox plant with two reactors
Scheme of a Biturox plant with two reactors
(Picture: Pörner)

Vienna/Austria – The Pörner Group delivers the comprehensive planning of a Biturox plant for the Sohar Refinery at the Sohar Port, to ORPIC, the refining and petrochemical flagship of the Sultanate of Oman. The bitumen plant, designed with two reactors, will be able to achieve an annual capacity of 300,000 t. In addition to providing the license and basic engineering, the Pörner Group is responsible for pilot tests at the Pörner Research Center, detail engineering, commissioning assistance, documentation and the training of personnel.


The Sultanate will be, for the first time, able to produce its own bitumen and be in a position to cover the national bitumen demand. Previously bitumen was imported exclusively from Iran and the United Arab Emirates, a high burden on the investment and expansion of the area’s infrastructure.

The Pörner Group is the world leader in this technology that allows refineries to produce high-quality road bitumen from a wide range of crude oils and refinery feedstock. Since 1978 Pörner has already awarded 46 licenses for Biturox plants around the world. Currently there are more than 40 bitumen production plants working worldwide based on the Pörner Biturox technology.

The Sohar refinery is located in the industrial area of the Port of Sohar and produces diesel, gasoline, kerosene, LPG, naphtha and propylene. At a cost of $ 1.8 billion, the refinery is being modernized and expanded. The completion of the newly built complex features five processing plants: vacuum distillation plant, a hydro-cracker, a delayed coker, an isomerisation plant and the Biturox bitumen production plant and is scheduled for 2016.

With the 82,000 barrels from these new facilities, the refinery increases its processing capacity by more than 70% to 198,000 barrels per day. This expansion allows ORPIC to cover the growing domestic demand for gasoline now and in the near future.