Qatar signs major petrochemical deals

Oct 16, 2007 02:00 AM

Qatar is developing a multi-billion dollar world-scale petrochemical complex at Mesaieed. The grassroots project is a 70:30 joint venture between Qatar Holding, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qatar Petroleum and Honam Petrochemical Corporation of South Korea.
The Qatar Petrochemicals Complex (QPCC), which is expected to begin commercial production in 2011, would produce 1.7 mm tpy of propylene, polypropylene, styrene, polystyrene and aromatics (xylene). Besides targeting the regional and international markets, the joint venture will supply its products to downstream industries in Qatar.

Foster Wheeler of the UK would provide the front-end engineering and design while process technologies would come from USA’s ABB Lummus (US) and Italy’s Basell Technologies. In addition to the usual FEED scope, Foster Wheeler's work also includes contract management and the procurement of long-lead items.
“We are proud that we have identified and developed this mega-project through our internal capabilities. This is a major departure from conventional thinking. Unlike other comparable projects, we are developing this project solely through QP’s internal resources,” Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Industry, said.

The multi-billion dollar mega-venture will produce annually 180,000 tons of propylene, 700,000 of polypropylene, 380,000 tons of styrene, 220,000 tons of polystyrene and over 250,000 tons of aromatics (xylenes).
Al Attiyah said the joint venture would be the first petrochemical complex in Qatar to use the available liquid feedstock from projects now operating in Mesaieed and Ras Laffan. He said the first phase of the project would comprise an ethane and naphtha cracker besides a naphtha reformer. Honam, since its inception in 1976, has gained a reputation of producing high quality petrochemicals, resins, plastics, synthetics and basic chemicals.

Foster Wheeler is a multinational engineering and construction contractor while ABB Lummus is a leading player in related technology and engineering. Basell is the world’s largest producer of polypropylene and advanced polyolefin products and a leader in the development and licensing of polypropylene and polyethylene processes.
Al-Attiyah indicated that the Qatari private sector would have a key role to play in the joint venture petrochemicals project.
“Maybe in future the joint venture can go public. At the moment, however, we are focused on developing it,” he said.

After signing the deal, Attiyah ruled out switching from the dollar as a price of oil and said he believed $ 100 is a fair price for crude.
“Pricing oil in dollars is not a political decision as the industry has been linked historically to the dollar regardless of its fluctuations… the oil produced from the North Sea, Norway, Russia and all Europe is still priced in dollar,” he said. “It is a historical not a political link… as for what is a fair price, I think it should be over $ 100 because of inflation and currency fluctuations.”

On another report, Qatar’s Venessia Petroleum is investing around $ 1.5 bn in Zimbabwe, to build an oil refinery and a hotel.
“Venessia Petroleum plans to build a 120,000 bpd refinery in Harare, while a sister company will develop a five-star hotel in the Zimbabwean capital,” the company’s general manager Jawhar Zaidi was quoted as saying. The company, which operates overseas as Venessia General Trading, was set up as part of the government’s plans to help develop Qatar’s energy sector. Venessia General Trading is investing in hotels and oil storage facilities in the southern African country of Malawi.

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