Qatar has grown to become the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter over the last decade, and has now announced plans to spend $25 billion on the expansion of its domestic petrochemical industry over the next decade.
Further development of gas supplies in the huge North Field are currently on hold to keep output at a relatively constant 77 million tonnes per annum until at least 2015. Although improvements in efficiency along the production line, such as the removal of bottlenecks, could boost production.
Instead, Abdulrahman Al Shaibi, managing director of the Qatar Financial Centre Authority, has said that the small United Emirates state will be “focusing on petrochemicals” in the near future. "We will spend $25bn on creating additional petrochemical industries as an important feedstock for small and medium-sized companies."
The state-run Qatar News Agency this month quoted the energy minister Mohammed Al-Sada as saying that the country planned to more than double its annual petrochemical production from current levels of 9.2 million tonnes to 23 million tonnes by 2020.
In December Qatar signed a deal with Royal Dutch Shell to develop a $6.4bn petrochemicals complex in the Ras Laffan industrial city which will produce 1.5 million tonnes of mono-ethylene glycol per year and 300,000 tonnes of linear alpha olefin. Al-Sada has also confirmed that plans already exist for the construction of additional petrochemical plants in the future.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…