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SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. says it has reached an agreement to design and deliver a chemical plant in Oman that will cost an estimated $1.9 billion to build.

The Montreal-based engineering and construction company says it will support the program from concept development to commissioning of the plant, and work along with Omani contractors.

SNC-Lavalin will also support the operations and maintenance of the plant, to be built about 150 kilometres southeast of Muscat, the capital of Oman.

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“This contract is a major strategic win for us, helping to grow our business in the region and demonstrate our world-leading credentials,” said Christian Brown, president of oil and gas at SNC-Lavalin in a statement.

“Oman is an important market for SNC-Lavalin where we have a long history of safely delivering complex major projects.”

Last year, SNC-Lavalin was awarded a long-term framework contract from Petroleum Development Oman to help commission and manage its upstream assets in the country. SNC-Lavalin has set up an academy in Muscat to train and develop graduate engineers in the commissioning as part of the contract.

The new chemical plant is expected to produce about 227,000 tonnes a year of polyvinyl chloride for export to Asia. The plastic material is used in a wide range of products from piping to medical devices to credit cards.

The facility will also produce about 127,000 tonnes of sodium hydroxide, also known as caustic soda, to support local industries. Caustic soda has a variety of industrial applications including for production of petroleum products, soap and in water treatment.

The SNC-Lavalin contract was signed with Project Development & Management International LLC.

Oman’s production of petroleum and other liquids stood at around a million barrels a day in 2016. The country’s oil and gas production has been boosted by newer production techniques including enhanced oil recovery that allows for more production from older oil fields.

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SNC-Lavalin has been awarded several other contracts in the Middle East this year, including a contract for the expansion of a district cooling scheme in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, a contract with Saudi Aramco to expand a major gas processing facility in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, as well as a five-year agreement to provide general engineer services to a joint venture between Aramco Gulf Operations Co. Ltd. and Kuwait Gulf Oil Co.

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