QatarEnergy, CP Chem start building $6bn Ras Laffan polymers complex

Nurluqman Suratman

20-Feb-2024

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–QatarEnergy and US’ Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem) have started construction of their joint venture integrated polymers complex at Ras Laffan Industrial City in Qatar.

The $6bn project will include an ethane cracker with capacity of 2.08m tonnes/year of ethylene, making it the largest ethane cracker in the Middle East and one of the largest globally, CP Chem said late on Monday.

It will also include two high-density polyethylene (PE) derivative units with a total capacity of 1.68m tonnes/year.

The two firms secured $4.4bn in financing for the Ras Laffan project in October last year.

The PE units will use CP Chem’s MarTech loop slurry process to produce high-density PE (HDPE), which will be primarily meant for exports.

The project is being developed by a 30:70 joint venture company of CP Chem and QatarEnergy.

“This project advances CP Chem’s long-held strategy to expand its operations in regions where feedstock is reliable and abundant and will help meet the global demand for polyethylene products,” CP Chem president and CEO Bruce Chinn said.

Qatar holds the third-largest proven natural gas reserves in the world which positions it as a key player in the global energy market and a primary exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

CP Chem is providing project management services to oversee the engineering, procurement and construction of the facility.

The Ras Laffan Petrochemical Complex is Qatar Energy’s largest investment in the local petrochemicals sector, the Qatari firm said in a separate statement issued on 19 February.

The project will raise Qatar’s overall petrochemical production capacity to about 14m tonnes/year by the end of 2026, it said.

“There is no doubt that this is an important landmark in QatarEnergy’s downstream expansion strategy as it will reinforce our integrated position as a global energy player and generate significant economic benefits for the country,” Qatar’s minister of state for energy affairs Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said.

CP Chem and QatarEnergy operate three joint ventures in Qatar, namely, Qatar Chemical Co, Qatar Chemical Company II, and Ras Laffan Olefins Co.

In the US, the two companies, through their Golden Triangle Polymers joint venture, are also building a similar integrated polymers facility in Orange, Texas, which is expected to start up in 2026.

Thumbnail image: Qatar minister of state for energy affairs Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi on 19 February 2024 (Source: QatarEnergy)

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