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New Kuwaiti Company to Build Petrochemical Plants

Source: Al Waten Daily News 6/2/2010, Location: Middle East

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Kuwait's Qurain Petrochemical Industries Co. (QPIC) said it has established a company which will build two petrochemical plants at the cost of 700 million US dollars.

QPIC said in a statement it owned 90 percent of the new venture called United Petrochemical Co. (UPC), while United Industries Co. owned the rest. It said the plants will be the country's first for producing purified terephthalic acid (PTA), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The materials will be mainly used in making plastic bottles and food packaging, the statement said.

QPIC did not say when the plants were expected to built, but it said UPC "has received all required licenses."

PTA is used in the production of such products such as film, fiber, with the majority of the production used for PET production. The production of PET is then mainly used in the making of plastic water bottles and food packaging. Annual global consumption of PTA is expected to reach 60 million tons by 2015, from 38 million tons in 2008. The world-scale petrochemical plants will utilize Paraxylene (PX) produced by the Kuwait Aromatics Company, in which QPIC owns 20 percent. The Kuwait Paraxylene plant began production in December 2009 and produces 820,000 ton of Paraxylene annually.

"The PTA/PET project is part of QPIC's long term strategy focused on developing downstream petrochemical projects in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and MENA (Middle East and North Africa) regions and utilizing its assets to enhance returns to shareholders" concluded Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Sabah, the QPIC Board Chairman.

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member Kuwait is the world's fourth-largest oil exporter.

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