Qatar to boost petrochemicals investment

Qatar_petrochemicalsQatar plans to spend US$25 billion on expanding its domestic petrochemical industry over the next decade, an official said.

From 9.2mn to 23mn tons

Qatar News Agency cited Energy Minister Mohammed Al-Sada saying earlier this month the country planned to more than double its annual petrochemical production capacity from 9.2mn tons now to 23mn tons by 2020.

"In the hydrocarbon area, we are now focusing on petrochemicals," Abdulrahman Al-Shaibi, managing director of the Qatar Financial Center Authority, said.

World's biggest LNG exporter

"We will spend US$25 billion on creating additional petrochemical industries as an important feedstock for small and medium-sized companies."

The tiny Gulf oil producer has become the world's biggest LNG exporter over the last decade but has imposed a moratorium on further export development of Qatar's huge North Field, the source of its massive gas reserves, until 2014.

LNG output is largely fixed at 77mn tons per annum until 2015 at the earliest, although the plans to remove bottlenecks from existing facilities may boost production.

US$6.4 billion complex

In December, Qatar signed a deal with Royal Dutch Shell to develop a US$6.4 billion petrochemicals complex in the Ras Laffan industrial city in the state.

The plant will have the capacity to produce 1.5mn tons of mono-ethylene glycol per year and 300,000 tons of linear alpha olefin, mostly for export to Asian markets.

Sada said at the time that plans for additional petrochemical plants in Qatar were in the pipeline.

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