QATAR: Q-Chem II boosts Qatar petrochemical production

Qatar has become a major global producer of normal alpha olefins with HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani inaugurating the $1.3 billion Q-Chem II at Mesaieed Industrial City yesterday (9 Nov. 2010).

Q-Chem II, a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum (51%) and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company (49%), has a capacity to produce 350,000 tonnes per year (tpy) of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and 345,000 tpy of normal alpha olefins (NAO).

With Q-Chem II start-up, Qatar Chemical Company's high-density polyethylene capacity has ballooned 77% to 803,000 tpy from 453,000 tpy earlier.

The second plant boosts Q-Chem's overall derivative product capacity by roughly 140%.

Eleven different normal alpha olefins will also be produced by Q-Chem II annually, which will be dispatched to markets in Asia, Europe and the US.
This is the first NAO plant in the entire Middle East.

Both HDPE and NAOs will be produced by Q-Chem II using proprietary technologies licensed by Chevron Phillips Chemical LP. The process being employed for the production of HDPE is Chevron Phillips' proprietary "loop slurry” technology while that of normal alpha olefins is Chevron Phillips' proprietary NAO process.

Q-Chem II's world class HDPE and NAO facility had been set up adjacent to the existing Qatar Chemical Company plant at

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for Q-Chem II was awarded to a consortium of Technimont and Daewoo Engineering & Construction Company in 2005.

Q-Chem II represents the continued partnership between Qatar Petroleum and Chevron Phillips, which are also behind Q-Chem 1.

Q-Chem and C-Chem II products are packaged and sold under the Marlex Polyethylene and AlphaPlus Normal Alpha Olefins brands through "extensive marketing and distribution channels”.

Both Q-Chem and C-Chem II have their own independent dock and state-of-the-art bagging and storage tanks. Products in liquid and pellet form are distributed to customers around the world, where they are further processed into end-products for domestic and industrial use.

In order to "better serve” customers, Q-Chem said it would store HDPE and NAO products in "terminal storage” points in Europe and Asia.

Q-Chem II is also part owner of the Ras Laffan Olefins Company (RLOC), whose other shareholder is Qatofin.

Both Q-Chem II and Qatofin benefit from RLOC's "uninterrupted” supply of ethylene, which is the main raw material used in the chemical processes of the two companies.

The resultant economies of scale allow Q-Chem II and Qatofin to be even "more competitive” in the open market.(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)