QATAR Fuel Additives’ new headquarters was formally inaugurated …Asia drives the products…

Doha / QATAR: Qatar Fuel Additives’ (Qafac) new headquarters was formally inaugurated at the Bay Tower 2 in The Gate Mall by company chairman Hamad Rashid al-Mohannadi (pictured).

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The Chairman of QAFAC, H.E. Hamad Rashid al-Mohannadi

General Manager Nasser Jeham al-Kuwari, directors and senior executives were among those present. Qatar Fuel Additives (Qafac) is an Industries Qatar subsidiary and has a world-scale plant at Mesaieed, which produces around 610,000 tonnes of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and 982,000t of methanol annually.

Most of the products are exported to Asia, China in particular, through state-owned marketing company Muntajat. MTBE is used as a gasoline additive that gives a clean burning fuel to reduce exhaust pollution generated by motor vehicles and also eliminates the need to blend tetra ethyl lead to the gasoline.

This produces unleaded gasoline. Methanol can also be used to blend with gasoline as a cleaner fuel.

A QR291mn ($80mn) carbon dioxide recovery (CDR) plant being set up by Qatar Fuel Additives (Qafac), an Industries Qatar subsidiary, is more than 50% complete and set for late 2014 commissioning, said general manager Nasser Jeham al-Kuwari. The plant at Mesaieed will meet a two-pronged Qafac objective of reducing emissions and stepping up methanol production, al-Kuwari told Gulf Times in Doha yesterday.

“This will be one of the largest carbon dioxide recovery plants in the region,” al-Kuwari said. The plant, when operational, will recover 500 tonnes per day of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, from its methanol reformer stack and will inject it back into its existing process to enhance the production capacity of methanol.

“We are looking at an additional production of 100,000 tpy (tonnes per year) of methanol,” al-Kuwari said.

With the project, Qafac has demonstrated its strong desire to be a leader in reducing industrial greenhouse gases and to play a front line role as an environmentally conscious company.

In its latest Sustainability Report Qafac said, “Stepping up to the climate change challenge and playing our part in fulfilling our vision, we looked for innovative ways to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. The CDR in partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is an innovative solution that reduces Qafac’s total emissions and meets a business need by reusing the recovered carbon dioxide in our methanol production, thus fulfilling our CO2 requirements.

“The CDR plant will be the first to recover carbon dioxide from a methanol plant and reinject it into methanol production, and is the largest of its kind built by MHI. Moreover, the plant will recover 35 cu m of water an hour from flue gas, which will be reused in the production process. This is expected to reduce the company’s total water intake by 16% based on the latest intake figures.”

To finance the CDR plant, Qafac had last year signed a corporate loan agreement with QNB for $80mn. Currently, the company produces around 610,000 tpy of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and 982,000 tpy of methanol. While methanol is produced at the plant from natural gas supplied by Qatar Petroleum through steam reforming and MEOH synthesis, MTBE is produced by processing butane procured from QP and methanol procured inhouse.

MTBE is used as a gasoline additive that gives a clean burning fuel to reduce exhaust pollution generated by motor vehicles and also eliminates the need to blend tetra ethyl lead to the gasoline. This produces unleaded gasoline. Methanol can also be used to blend with gasoline as a cleaner fuel.

Asia drives Qafac products

Asian markets are now “very competitively priced” said Qafac general manager Nasser Jeham al-Kuwari. “Going to Asian markets is much cheaper for us now. This is because of logistics and location…also the prices in Asia are very competitive now,” al-Kuwari told Gulf Times yesterday.

He said most of Qafac products now get into the Asian markets. “In Asia our main market is China,” al-Kuwari said. According to Qafac’s latest Sustainability Report, Asia remains its “biggest” market for both its products – methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and methanol, representing 65.6% of total sales in 2012.

Qafac products are now marketed by state-owned Muntajat.

Sources: Gulf Times, The Peninsula, Caye Global News

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