Qatar Petroleum (QO) said on Tuesday it invited a group of leading international companies to bid for the development and operation of a new world-scale petrochemicals complex in the Ras Laffan Industrial City.
The state energy company said the complex would include an ethane cracker with a capacity of more than 1.6 million tons per annum of ethylene, making it the biggest ethane cracker in the Middle East, and one of the largest in the world.
The complex will also include world-class derivative plants, which will consolidate Qatar’s position among the leading petrochemicals producers on the global market.
"The engineering design of the petrochemicals complex should commence shortly, leading to a planned start-up in 2025," QP said.
Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, president and CEO of QP said petrochemicals represent a major pillar of QP’s growth strategy.
"This project will complement our efforts to implement our strategy, and will enable Qatar Petroleum to further expand its footprint in the global petrochemicals markets," he said.
- Fierce competition among Gulf countries
Oil producers in the Middle East are sharing their business plans on petrochemicals and seeking to capture new growth markets with the help of international companies.
Saudi Arabia's national oil company Saudi Aramco, and France's state oil company, Total, signed a memorandum of understanding in April in Paris to build a giant petrochemical complex in Saudi Arabia.
The U.A.E.'s Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, ADNOC, signed a project development agreement with Spain’s Cepsa for a “new, world-scale” linear alkylbenzene, LAB, facility in ADNOC’s refining and petrochemicals complex in Ruwais, ADNOC announced on Monday.
The agreements are also a sign of mounting competition between Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E. amid the ongoing crisis between the three countries.
Qatar has been at odds with Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. since June, when the bloc accused Doha of supporting terrorism and resulted in the severing of ties with the country. Qatar has adamantly denied the allegations.
The crisis is unprecedented in inter-Arab relations and has resulted in the four countries imposing a land, sea and air blockade on Qatar.
By Murat Temizer