Qatar opens $695 million petrochemical plant

By an OGJ Online Correspondent

DOHA, June 21 -- Qatar Vinyl Co. Ltd. Thursday officially opened a $695 million petrochemical plant at Mesaieed Industrial City south of Doha.

The plant has nameplate capacity of 230,000 tonnes/year of vinyl chloride monomer, 175,000 tonnes of ethylene dichloride, and 290,000 tonnes/year of caustic soda.

The last of the three units, the VCM unit, came on stream June 4, said Norsk Hydro AS, which owns 29.7% of Qatar Vinyl. The first cargo left the plant in April.

Qatar General Petroleum Corp. owns 31.9%, Qatar Petrochemical Co. 25.5%, and Atofina 12.9%.

QVC is able to use surplus ethylene from Qatar Petroleum Co. as feedstock.

Krupp Uhde, a subsidiary of Germany's ThyssenKrupp Engineering, and Italian company Technipetrol SPA built the plant, which Hydro said has customers in Australia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.

"Qatar is a highly advantageous location for the markets in Asia, and we no longer need to ship these products via Rafnes, for example. Our production in Qatar will help us compete for customers who have traditionally purchased from USA," said Anders Hermansson, head of Hydro's petrochemicals division.

A 120-Mw gas-fired power plant has also been built at the site.

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