Qatar Petroleum in Algerian cracker jv

By Malini Hariharan

Qatar Petroleum’s (QP) ambition to extend its global reach has taken the company to Algeria.

QP is reported to have picked up a 10% stake in the Total-Sonatrach joint-venture petrochemicals project at Arzew, Algeria.

The entry of QP would result in a dilution of Total’s stake in the project to 41% with the balance held by Sonatrach. But it would help Total meet a government regulation that requires the majority share in a joint venture to be held by an Algerian company.

A Total source had told ICIS news last year that the new law was one of the reasons for a delay in implementing the project, scheduled for completion in 2013.

The project involves a 1.2m tonnes/year cracker with downstream polyethylene (PE) and monoethylene glycol (MEG) units.

Technology license for the proposed 550,000 tonnes/year MEG unit was recently awarded to Scientific Design.

The ethane cracker would reportedly obtain ethane from two liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants.

The Algerian development comes after QP acquired a part of Shell Chemical’s stake in Singapore’s Petrochemical Corp of Singapore (PCS) and The Polyolefins Co (TPC) in November 2009.

That deal is expected to help QP expand its presence in the Far East with Singapore as a base. Additionally, the deal could help QP market liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) into Singapore

And QP also has a presence in China through a joint venture with Shell and PetroChina for a petrochemical project at Taizhou, Zhejiang.

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