Qatar Petroleum (QP), with 10% stake, has become part of the partnership between France’s Total and Algeria’s Sonatrach joint venture project to construct an ethane cracker in Arzew, western Algeria. Sonatrach awarded a contract to Total to construct the ethane cracker where Total had a controlling 51% stake and Algeria’s Sonatrach 49%. However new governmental regulations obliging local partners to control the majority of any JV project with foreign partners have forced the French oil giant to relinquish some of its share. This situation has affected the development of the US$5 bln project which was slated for completion in 2013. Now QP has 10% stake in the project, Total holds 41% and Sonatrach holds 49% of the project.
The cracker will have the capacity to produce 1.4 mln tpa ethane, 1.1 mln tpa ethylene. The produced ethylene will be processed into 410,000 tpa of mono ethylene glycol, 350,000 tpa of high density of polyethylene (HDPE) and 450,000 tpa of linear low density of polyethylene (LLDPE) mainly for export.