Mohammed Nasser Al Hajri at the MEED’s Qatar Projects meet. Abdul Basit
By Satish Kanady
DOHA: The petrochemicals sector is set to emerge as the major driver of Qatar’s diversification dream with at least three mega projects, along with several other small projects. These are expected to be operational between 2018 and 2020.
The foundation stone for the QP’s joint venture new condensate refinery (LR2) will be laid next month. The planned LR2 condensate refinery would be similar in configuration to the Laffan Refinery 1 (LR1), which started operations in September 2009, and would have a processing capacity of 146,000 barrels a day of condensate.
QP’s downstream mega projects namely Al-Karaana, Al-Sejeel and the gasoline and aromatic projects are also taking forward steps. The scope under consideration for the Al-Karaana Petrochemical Complex project includes a world-scale steam cracker, with feedstock coming from natural gas projects in Qatar; a 1.5m tonnesper annum mono-ethylene glycol plant a 300 thousand tonnes per annum linear alpha olefin unit; and a 250 thousand tonnes per annum OXO products.
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 between 2018 and 2020. Qatar’s planned investments in the downstream sector will increase Qatar’s export portfolio of chemicals and petrochemicals to 23m tonnes per year by 2020.
“The upcoming projects are going to build a solid foundation for diversification and expansion. The new intermediate and derivative products from these projects could be the source of further opportunities and future growth in the industry. These diversifications in Qatar will create opportunities for Medium and Small Enterprises, which is an important part of achieving Qatar National Vision 2030”,. Mohammed Nasser Al Hajri, Director of Downstream Ventures, QP noted while addressing the MEED’s Qatar Projects conference here yesterday
Al-Karaana and Al-Sejeel Mixed feed cracker projects are currently in the front end engineering design (FEED) phase which will confirm the final project configuration. The world scale gasoline and aromatics project is soon going into a defining phase of FEED. For these projects, the next phase will be engineering procurement and construction (EPC) phase.
‘Al-Karaana project will be major driver of Qatar’s diversification dream,” Stjin van Els, Chief Executive (Designate), Al Karaana Project, said.
As part of the expansion of the petrochemicals sector, Qatar Petroleum plans to raise its production from 9m tones a year (t/y) to 23m t/y by 2020. To achieve this goal, QP and Qapco have joined forces to develop a 1.4m t/y ethane cracker at Ras Laffan. The Al-Sejeel Petrochemical complex will produce 850,000 t/y of high-density polyethylene, 430,000 t/y of low-density polyethylene, 760,000 t/y of polypropylene and 83,000 t/y of butadiene. Detailed submissions are due in March and commercial bids in April. The contract award is scheduled for August 2014, with start-up in 2018. All the three planned projects are approaching the FEED phase. The next stage is to look for EPC partners to share QP’s journey with large and medium-sized businesses targeted to be in the subsequent phase.
“The increase in Qatar’s export capacity by 2020 is an ambitious goal but one that we are confident that we can achieve. The development will allow us to build a solid foundation for further diversification and future growth.. The upcoming diversification and expansion offers many opportunities for growth and achieve the objectives of QP and Qatar’s National Vision and we look forward to working with everyone and partnering with them in our journey”, Al Hajri said.
“Going forward, the non-hydrocarbon sector would contribute 50 percent of Qatar’s GDP”, commented Ali Al Kuwari, Acting Group CEO, QNB.