Canada’s SNC-Lavalin to design and build $1.5bn plastics plant in Oman
Canadian engineering contractor SNC-Lavalin has won a contract to build a greenfield polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics plant outside of the Omani capital Muscat.
SNC-Lavalin will support the project long term, from concept development to commissioning, carrying out the initial engineering, master planning, process technology evaluation and selection to support project financial investment decision approvals
Work is expected to begin in Q1 next year and will total $1.5bn in value. Once finished, the plant will produce 250,000 tonnes of PVC a year to export to Asia. Around 140,000 tonnes of sodium hydroxide will be shipped locally to support various industrial activities.
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Christian Brown, President, Oil & Gas, SNC-Lavalin, commented: “This contract is a major strategic win for us, helping to grow our business in the region and demonstrate our world-leading credentials in providing end to end solutions for large EPC projects.
“Oman is an important market for SNC-Lavalin where we have a long history of safely delivering complex major projects. We are pleased to be able to apply our international experience to such a significant project in the region while working hard to increase in-country value and help develop Oman’s resources.”
The Canadian firm will be working with local Omani contractors during the building phase of the project. Once finished, SNC-Lavalin will also support the operation and maintenance of the plant.
SNC-Lavalin is also involved in Oman’s oil and gas industry, last year winning a contract to help with management of upstream assets.
Webuild and Lane to build railway in Texas
Webuild, formerly known as Salini Impregilo, has announced a US$16bn agreement to build a high-speed railway between Dallas and Houston in Texas. The project has been described as the “final step” before financial closure for the company, which Webuild said was“foreseen in the coming months”.
Passengers using the 236-mile long railway, which was developed by Texas LLC, will travel in Japanese Tokaido Shinkansen bullet trains at 200mph, making one scheduled stop at Brazos Valley near Texas A&M University. This aims to shorten the total journey time between the two terminals from almost four hours to around 90 minutes, Texas LLC claims. The company hopes commercial operations will begin in 2026.
According to Webuild, the new line will aim to target an estimated 100,000 “super commuters” who travel between the two cities by car and plane every week. Webuild said it would cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 101,000 tonnes per year.
This contract is an update on a preliminary design-build agreement signed with Texas Central LLC in 2019, valued at $14bn. The deal confirms the US as Webuild's single biggest market, comprising some 35% of the group’s total order backlog.
Around 17,000 new direct jobs will be created as a result of the project, as well as 20,000 indirect ones. U.S. suppliers from states aim to provide an estimated US$7.3bn of materials to construct the railway in conjunction with services provided by Italian suppliers.
Webuild and Lane will oversee the civil engineering works of the project. This includes the tracks themselves, the viaducts, and depot buildings.
Three facts about bullet trains
- The fastest commercially operated bullet train is not in Japan, but China. It is capable of reaching speeds of up to 268mph… with passengers onboard.
- Bullet trains are one of the safest ways to travel. Over 10bn passengers have been on board a bullet train and no-one has ever been killed on one.
- The “tunnel boom effect” is powerful enough to blow a freight train over. When a bullet train exits a tunnel at over 200mph, the resulting sonic boom effect is so strong, it could blow a normal freight train off its tracks.
Image: Texas Central LLC.