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Qatar: Twelve gas-based petrochemical ventures under construction

Source: The Peninsula 7/6/2005, Location: Middle East

The Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Industry H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah highlighted the significance of petrochemical ventures and associated industries, asserting that gas-based petrochemical industries are no less important than gas liquefaction and gas to liquids (GTL) industries

. Gas-based petrochemical industries, which use natural gas as a feed-stock, are rapidly expanding, Abdullah bin Hamad said. Under-construction ventures have so far numbered 12, excluding other future and planned ventures, he said. The total cost of existing or about to be completed petrochemical ventures, refineries and metallic industries is estimated at over $20bn, some $7.04bn of which have already been spent on expansion plans and some $13bn are expected to be spent on future ventures planned to be completed and commissioned by the end of year 2010, he added.

. About under way expansions in petrochemical industries, the Minister noted that Qatar petrochemical company (Qapco), which is one of the world's largest petrochemical producers, is currently carrying out an expansion plan to raise its annual production of ethylene to some 730 thousand tonnes as from 2007.After speaking about several other expansion plans, Abdullah bin Hamad noted that the more Qatar's output of natural gas is increased, the more associated ethane quantities are obtained. A giant venture was therefore decided to be set up in Ras Laffan at the cost of some $ 2.5bn in order to process associated ethane into synthetic ethylene and other synthetic by-products, such as high-intensity and low-intensity poly-ethylene.

. Besides gigantic Qapco and its associated or inter-dependent companies, there is Qatar Fertilizers Company (Qafco), which is equally gigantic, are grouped into Qatar industries and are mainly set up to make optimal use of the huge quantities of natural gas to produce high value added products, especially fertilizers, the Minister said. A fifth train is being planned to be set up at Qafco compound which already has four trains, with the last expansion known as Qafco IV bringing the total yearly output to some two million tonnes of ammonia and 2.8 million tonnes of urea. If completed as planned, Qafco V would go on stream in 2009, he added. Of the petrochemical-related ventures, he cited the condensates refinery venture in the industrial Ras Laffan city at a cost of some $2.2bn. The venture, which is designed to produce some 140,000 barrels per day in the initial stages of production may raise up refining output to some 800,000 barrels per day by the year 2010 provided that natural gas production was increased, he said.

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