Boost to Qatar’s petrochemical industry with expansion at Qapco, Ras Laffan Olefins Co, Qatofin

Qatar’s petrochemical industry will get a boost with expansions at Qapco, Ras Laffan Olefins Company and Qatofin, as per a report by Business Monitor International. Qapco (Qatar Petrochemical Company) is on track to start commercial production at its new 300,000 tpa low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plant at Mesaieed by early 2012, raising the company’s total LDPE capacity to 700,000 tpa; making it one of the major LDPE producers in the world. Qapco’s two existing LDPE production lines - LDPE 1 & 2 -already account for over 400,000 tpa of LDPE. Qapco is also considering expanding its 720,000 tpa ethylene cracker to 900,000 tpa in Q4, 2014. A feasibility study is also under way for expansion of the Ras Laffan Olefins Company (RLOC) cracker from 1.3 mln tpa to 1.45-1.6 mln tpa, while Qatofin’s 450,000 tpa linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant may see capacity boost. The RLOC cracker was opened in May 2010 and is the world’s largest ethylene producer. It supplies the Q-Chem II petrochemical complex and Qatofin’s 450,000 tpa LLDPE plant, which were opened in November 2009. The cracker will also supply ethylene to HDPE and alpha-olefin plants that are being built by Q-Chem II. According to BMI, two new world-scale petrochemical projects are set to go ahead in Qatar, each with ethylene production capacity of at least 1.5mn tpa. BMI had based previous projections on just one of the world-scale complexes, owing to lack of ethane feedstock supply. However, only one is likely to come onstream in 2015, with the other likely in 2016.
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