Qatar starts $ 500 mm petrochemical venture with Norsk Hydro and Elf
Jan. 8, 1997 Qatar has signed a $ 500 mm joint venture deal with Norwegian and French companies to set up a petrochemical project. Minister of Energy and Industry Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah said Qatar Vinyl Company (QVC) would produce 338,000 tonnes of ethylene dichloride (EDC), 200,000 t. of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and 260,000 t. of caustic soda (NaOH) a year. It might be expanded within a few years to PVC. Qatar General Petroleum Corporation will own 25.5 %, Qatar Petrochemicals Company, a subsidiary of QGPC, will have 31.9 % of stakes while Norsk Hydro and Elf Atochem will hold 29.7 % and 12.9 % of shares respectively. Attiyah, who signed the deal with representatives of the Norwegian and French companies, told the project would go on stream in the first half of 2000. The new company will utilise ethylene produced by Qatar Petrochemicals Company (QPC) as feedstock and will be located next to it in the area of Messaieed, 48 km (30 miles) south of Doha. It will be Qatar's fourth petrochemical venturedesigned to put its abundant gas reserves to use. Qatar Petrochemicals Company (QAPCO), has been producing ethylene and low density polyethylene (ldPE) since 1982. The two others -- Qatar Fuel Additive Company (Qafac) and a Qatar Clean Energy Company (Qacenco) were set up last year to produce methanol and MTBE. QVC will target Southeast Asian and Far East regions as its main market. "The Middle East countries presently have no significant room for EDC and other products, but they are developing,'' said a QGPC official. Norsk Hydro is also a 25 % partner in Qatar Fertilisers Company (Qafco), and Elf Atochem holds 10 % of QAPCO.