Foundation stone for $1.5bn Laffan Refinery 2 ‘to be laid next month’…

The foundation stone for the $1.5bn Laffan Refinery 2 (LR 2), the second condensate refinery at Ras Laffan Industrial City, will be laid next month as part of Qatar’s efforts to achieve chemical and petrochemical output of 23mn tonnes per annum by 2020.

Energy-rich Qatar is also in the midst of constructing another Al Sejeel Petrochemical Complex at Ras Laffan, a mixed feed steam cracker in the country and the first one to produce polypropylene, Mohamed Nasser al-Hajri, Director of Downstream Ventures, Qatar Petroleum (QP) told a MEED conference.

“A strong downstream sector is a vital part of Qatar’s sustainable economic development and QP is progressing well with its downstream industry expansion and diversification. Next month we will celebrate the ceremony to lay the foundation stone of the construction of this new condensate refinery facility,” he said, referring to LR2.

QP is paying adequate attention to the development of the downstream petrochemicals, refining and manufacturing sector, with the intention of creating additional sources of new opportunities for diversification and growth in the future for delivering long term value to the country, he added.

The new LR2 adds another 146,000 barrel per day capacity and is an important downstream project in Qatar, which will double the production of Laffan Refinery 1, al-Hajri said.

The additional capacity of these products is targeted to meet local demand growth, to feed further downstream projects and export to high value international product markets, he said.

The $1.5bn LR2 will be operated by Qatargas Operating Company (Qatargas). The existing LR1, which started production in September 2009, is also operated by Qatargas.

LR2 will have a daily production capacity of 60,000 barrels of naphtha, 53,000 barrels of jet fuel, 24,000 barrels of gasoil and 9,000 barrels of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). In May last year, the contract for the engineering, procurement, supply, construction and commissioning of the LR 2 was awarded to a joint venture of Chiyoda Corp and CTCI Corp.

The joint venture agreement for the LR2 project was signed in April 2013, with the shareholders consisting of Qatar Petroleum with 84% stake, Total (10%), Idemitsu (2%), Cosmo (2%), Marubeni (1%) and Mitsui (1%).

The LR2 refinery will utilise the condensate produced by Qatargas, RasGas, Barzan and Al Khaleej Gas as feedstock.

On Al Sejeel, which is entirely owned by QP and Industries Qatar-subsidiary Qatar Petrochemicals Company, he said in addition to polypropylene, it will produce ethylene, high-density polyethylene, linear low-density polyethylene, butadiene and pyrolysis gasoline.

All products from Al Sejeel Petrochemical Complex will be marketed in high-growth regions in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Also highlighting the gasoline and aromatic projects; he said these mega projects are in various stages of development and preparation for final investment decision later on this year.

Besides the mega-size projects, there are other large and medium-sized projects under consideration, such as butadiene extraction and elastomer complex. Most of these projects are targeted to be on stream by 2018- 2020.

“Our planned investments in the downstream sector will increase Qatar’s export portfolio of chemicals and petrochemicals to 23mn tonnes per year by 2020,” he said.

Stressing that the new intermediate and derivative products from these projects could be the source of further opportunities and future growth in the industry, he said these diversifications in Qatar will create opportunities for small and medium enterprises especially in the areas of plastic adhesives, fibers, solvent, plastic products, tires and rubber products.

On shale gas development in the US, he said Qatar is capable of meeting the demands of market currently served by it. Source: Gulf Times

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