Qatar's Laffan refinery to open in July

Uchenna Izundu
OGJ International Editor

DOHA, Apr. 11 -- The start up of the 146,000 b/d Laffan condensate refinery in Ras Laffan City, Qatar, is scheduled for July.

Faisal Al Suwaidi, chief executive officer of Qatargas Operating Co. Ltd. (Qatargas), told OGJ that the refinery is 99% complete. "We still have a few things to do," he said. "Commissioning activities have already started. It is the largest single condensate refinery in the world." Products will be used internally and exported.

The project has cost $800 million, instead of the $668.7 million originally expected in 2005, and was expected to start by the third quarter of 2008. The delay occurred because of a shortage of skilled labor and materials following the construction boom of the industry over the last 3-4 years.

The capacity of the condensate refinery will be doubled by 2014.

Qatargas and its partners, including ExxonMobil Corp. and Total SA, have built process units including utility systems, distillation units, naphtha and kerosene hydrotreaters, a hydrogen unit, and a saturated gas plant producing hydrotreated naphtha, hydrotreated kerosene, gas oil, and LPG for export.

A consortium of GS Engineering & Construction Corp. and Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. hold the engineering, procurement, and construction contract. Technip SA handled front-end engineering and design.

Qatargas will operate the refinery and provide feedstock for it along with RasGas, a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil, and Al-Khaleej Gas.

The shareholders are Qatar Petroleum with 51%; ExxonMobil, Total, Cosmo, and Idemitsu, 10% each; and Mitsui and Marubeni, 4.5% each.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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