Qatar Petroleum, PetroWorld to build world-scale methanol

Source: ICIS News

2003/09/15

SINGAPORE (CNI)--Qatar Petroleum (QP) and PetroWorld of South Africa have signed an agreement for the development of a large-scale fuel-grade methanol project at Ras Laffan, Qatar, the companies said in a statement on Sunday (14 September).

The project, which will have a capacity of between 3.96m tonne/year and 4.95m tonne/year, will be 51% owned by QP and 49% by PetroWorld, representing the South African government.

State-owned QP is responsible for all phases of the oil and gas industry in Qatar while PetroWorld is a joint venture owned by the Petroleum Oil and Gas Corp of South Africa (50%) and the TransWorld Group of Companies (50%).

The project will use natural gas from Qatar’s North Field to produce primarily fuel grade methanol as a clean fuel for electric power generation plants in areas where pipeline gas or LNG are not economically viable.

Qatar energy minister and QP chairman Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah said the project was an economically viable and technologically feasible option that would allow QP to diversify from its other existing options --liquified natural gas (LNG), gas-to-liquids (GTL), fertilisers and petrochemicals -- thereby optimising Qatar’s competitive position across world markets.

The Heads of Agreement calls for PetroWorld to conduct a feasibility study which is expected to confirm the technical configuration, economics of the project and the market opportunities already identified, as well as a plan for the process selection and project implementation.

The feasibility study is to be completed before the end of 2003 and the partners expect the proposed plant to come on steam by 2008.