Oman Oil Company (OOC) signed a joint venture agreement with Kuwait Petroleum International Ltd (KPI) this week for developing the Duqm Refinery and Petrochemical Complex with an investment of around $7b in the Duqm Special Economic Zone, Gulf Business reported.

The Duqm refinery and petrochemical project is expected to have a capacity of 230,000 b/d by 2019 after completion and is predicted to be one of the most significant industrial projects in the Duqm Special Economic Zone transforming the zone into one of the key industrial and economic hubs in the sultanate.

According to Muscat Daily, “35% of the project will be funded by the two companies with the remaining amount to be raised from local and international banks, “Oman Oil Company CEO, Hilal al-Kharusi stated.

The two companies formed a joint team to discuss and assess tenders from contractors for the construction and management of the facility.

The agreement came after Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company’s withdrawal from the project in 2016 after first founding a joint venture with Oman Oil Company in 2012.