By Malini Hariharan
Qatar has reconfirmed its commitment to build more petrochemical plants including a new worldscale cracker.
At a ceremony to mark the start of construction of Qapco's new ldPE project, the deputy premier and minister of energy and industry said Qatar was launching an aggressive plan to achieve optimal utilization of the country's natural resources.
Pic source: The Peninsula
"We are working very hard to expand our petrochemical industry. Every year we are trying to add a project. We have now several projects under discussion to expand our petrochemicals and develop another world scale ethylene cracker," he said.
However, as reported by this blog, Qatar is facing a shortage of ethane which has affected Shell's plans for a cracker.
Other cracker projects that have been under study/discussion for a few years include one by ExxonMobil and the other by Honam Petrochemical.
All the three projects have been planned as joint ventures with Qatar Petroleum.
I have heard that Qatar has enough ethane to support one worldscale cracker project of at least 1.3m tonnes/year capacity. This project could be onstream in 2013-14. There is no confirmation yet on who will be the lucky recipient of this ethane but it could be ExxonMobil as its project is the most advanced.