InterviewQatari firm plans largest EPS project in MENA – CEO

25 February 2014 08:01  [Source: ICIS news]

Interview story by Tahir Ikram

EPS is used as packaging material and has applications in insulation panels used in roads and buildings

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--EPS Qatar is planning to set up a 50,000 tonne/year expandable polystyrene (EPS) plant in Mesaieed industrial city in the south of Doha, Qatar at a cost of €110m, its CEO Ihab Barakat ElZahaby said on Tuesday.

The company sole proprietary of Qatari entrepreneur Hitmi Ali AlHitmi who has been in real estate business signed a technology licensing agreement with Switzerland-headquartered chemicals producer INEOS earlier this month, ElZahaby told ICIS by email.

“We are currently doing both the technical and financial feasibility studies, which should be all ready by the end of May,” he said.

“Actual [construction] work will start after 15 months from now,” he added.

ElZahaby said this was the first investment for EPS Qatar in the petrochemical field in line with the vision of the Hitmi Ali AlHitmi who sees great business potential in the sector.

The company will get cutting-edge technology from INEOS with which it signed the agreement on 11 February, while basic engineering will be carried out by French petrochemical engineering firm Technip.

Once completed this will be the largest EPS plant in MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, he said.

The company intends to sell EPS in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), north Africa and Turkey, ElZahaby said.

The company intends to complete the EPS plant by the end of 2017 and also has plans to increase the EPS capacity to 100,000 tonnes/year by the end of 2020, he added.

It also wants to invest in a styrene unit in the near future, ElZahaby said but gave no further details.

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections

By: Tahir Ikram
+65 6780 4359

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