A view of the new Qapco plant (inset)Dr Mohammed Yousef Al-Mulla
Qapco to open $623m polyethylene plant
Doha, November 6, 2012
Qatar Petrochemical Company (Qapco), a joint venture between Industries Qatar and Total Petrochemicals, has announced plans to open its QR2.3 billion ($623 million) low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant facility at Mesaieed Industrial City, 40 km south of Doha, later this month.
The new facility (LDPE -3) will produce prime high pressure grade LDPE than existing Qapco facilities, thus positioning the company as a global leader in LDPE production, said a top official.
The LDPE is the raw material required to manufacture most thermoplastic-based products. This includes items such as packaging films, agricultural film, extrusion and coating lamination film, high clarity film, injection molding, pipes, cables, wires, and other related products.
Commenting on the launch, Qapco’s vice chairman and CEO Dr Mohammed Yousef Al-Mulla said, "Preparations are almost complete for the official inauguration of the plant by Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani on November 20."
"Qapco considers the LDPE 3 facility as another step in the company’s role towards fulfilling the economic diversification goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030. While the country is blessed with ample hydrocarbon resources, the added value lays in the refined product," he added.
Currently, Qapco’s manufacturing facilities consist of an 800 KTPA (kilo-ton per annum) ethylene plant, a 70 KTPA sulphur processing facility, and two pre-existing LDPE plants, with a capacity of 400,000 MTPA.
While the LDPE 3 facility came fully online, it is designed to take advantage of the company’s excess ethylene feedstock, it will be producing 300,000 metric tons of LDPE per annum; thus increasing Qapco’s annual production of LDPE to 700,000 metric tons per annum.
LDPE 3 was conceptualized in 2002, when the company laid out its growth strategy and identified a high potential for the feasibility of launching this project to satisfy the growing global demand of the LDPE product, explained Dr Al-Mulla.
The construction began in 2009 when the foundation stone was laid by Heir Apparent, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, with construction taking three years. Testing and commissioning has already been completed, and with operating parameter normalized, the facility has been producing commercial prime grade LDPE since the mid-August, 2012.
“No stone was left unturned in our quest to deliver a world-class facility,” he stated.
The Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contract for the facility was awarded to the German firm Udhe, which has extensive experience in constructing facilities for the petrochemical industry, said Dr Al-Mulla.
"In addition, our technology is licensed by Bassell, another global giant in the sector," he added.
According to him, Qapco has some of the most stringent safety regulations; even meeting and exceeding international standards. “Thus hitting nearly 13 million man-hours with no loss time is a milestone by any standard.”
On its future plans, Dr Al-Mulla said the LPDE 3’s products will be sold through Qapco’s global marketing network, which stands at around 30-self operated offices, in addition to the logistic facilities.
"Thanks to international partners and other representative offices, 4500 industrial customers are currently being served by Qapco’s global marketing network in 145 countries. The company’s LDPE is being sold under the brand name ‘Lotrène,’ he noted.
“At some point in the future, most plastic products sold world-wide can essentially have a ‘Made in Qatar’ stamp on them as the raw material would have been supplied by us,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service