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Petrochemicals in Qatar

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Despite the global economic slowdown and threats of escalating feedstocks, BMI report that the Qatari petrochemicals industry is witnessing strong growth and capacity is expanding. This continuing growth demonstrates the confidence the Qatari industry has in future prospects, but BMI does warn that planned diversification will not be sufficient to ensure the sector can reap the full benefits of expansion.

Solid growth

Solid growth has been achieved in Qatar despite a slowdown in the global market due to the recession in Europe and the decline in manufacturing growth in Asia. Qatar Petrochemical Company’s new low density polyethylene (LDPE) 3 plant has boosted LDPE output which has increased polyolefin production capacity to 1.15 million tpy and made the site the world’s biggest single producer of polyolefins.

Future projects

Upcoming projects in Qatar include the development of a large petrochemicals complex in Ras Laffan by Qatar Petroleum and Qatar Petrochemical Company (QAPCO). QAPCO are also developing a US$ 6.4 billion olefins project with shell as well as drafting plans to expand the production of a cracker to enable 1 million tpy ethylene. QAPCO also have a joint venture with Total at Ras Laffan which is worth US$ 5.5 billion and is set for completion in 2018. Also in 2018, the Al-Sejeel Petrochemicals Complex which is a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and QAPCO and the Al-Karaana petrochemicals complex, a joint venture between QP and Shell is due to come online.

Production levels

By 2018, BMI forecasts that Qatar’s ethylene capacity should reach 7.2 million tpy, an increase of 177% compared to last year’s figures. This will be accompanied by polyethylene capacity of 4.49 million tpy and 540 000 tpy of polypropylene. 

Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd.

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