ExxonMobil confirms cracker project with Qatar Petroleum still on

10 August 2010 15:47  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum are still working to develop a worldscale petrochemical complex at Ras Laffan Industrial City, Qatar, despite media reports that ExxonMobil had abandoned the project, the US energy and chemicals major said on Tuesday.

An ExxonMobil spokesman quashed media speculation that the two companies have decided to end their plan to build the complex, which includes the world's largest steam cracker and polyethylene plants as well as one of the world's largest ethylene glycol plants.

The two companies first signed an agreement to start the project at the beginning of this year.

“We signed a heads of agreement with Qatar Petroleum in January 2010 to progress the joint development of a worldscale petrochemical complex and we continue to work with Qatar Petroleum on the project,” said ExxonMobil spokesman Jeffrey Neu in a statement.

“Specific details regarding the proposed project schedule, next steps and timing are considered confidential,” he added.

Qatar Petroleum could not be reached for comment.

The start-up of the petrochemical complex which includes a 1.6m tonne/year steam cracker, two 650,000 tonne/year gas-phase polyethylene plants a 700,000 tonne/year ethylene glycol plant was initially scheduled to begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2015.

However, industry sources last month said that there was speculation that Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil put the project on hold amid suggestions that delays in the awarding of engineering contracts and a possible change in partner for Qatar Petroleum could push the start-up date to 2016.

ExxonMobil's Neu said the company and Qatar Petroleum would release additional information regarding the project when it was available.

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By: Franco Capaldo
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