QatarEnergy announced on Sunday the final investment decision on the $6 billion Ras Laffan Petrochemicals Complex with partner Chevron Pillips Chemical which is expected to be the largest of its kind in the Middle East.
The complex, expected to begin production in 2026, includes an ethane cracker with a capacity of 2.1 million tons of ethylene per year.
The integrated compelx will also include two high density polyethylene derivative units with a total proudction capacity of 1.7 million tons per year, QatarEnergy chief Saad al-Kaabi Kaabi said.
Originally announced in 2019, the project highlights how Middle East oil producers are expanding further into petrochemicals, used in the production of plastics and packaging materials, to move into new markets and find new sources of income beyond exporting crude oil and natural gas.
State-run QatarEnergy will hold a 70 percent stake in the venture with Chevron Phillips Chemicals holding 30 percent under the agreement signed on Sunday.
“This marks QatarEnergy’s largest investment ever in Qatar’s petrochemical sector,” Kaabi said.
The complex, located in Ras Laffan industrial city, is an “important milestone” in Qatar’s downstream expansion strategy, he said.
Qatar, one of the world’s top producers of liquified natural gas (LNG), will see its ethylene production capacity double on the back of the new complex. Local polymer production will also increase from 2.6 million to 4 million tons per annum.
The Gulf state, one of the most influential global players in the world’s LNG markets, is expanding its North Field gas field that will see its liquefaction capacity increase from 77 million tons per annum to 126 million tons by 2027.