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Qatar Is To Have 4th Fertiliser Plant At Umm Said.

The Qatar Fertiliser Company (QAFCO) has decided to expand its complex at Umm Said with a fourth plant to produce 571,000 tons/year of urea and 469,000 t/y of ammonia. The project, to cost about $500m, should be on stream in 2002.

This will raise QAFCO's capacity to 2.287 million t/y of urea and 1.85m t/y of ammonia and will make Qatar one of the world's biggest exporters of fertilisers.

Despite a fall in world demand and a sharp drop in fertiliser prices this year, QAFCO made a net profit of 140 million Qatari riyals during the first nine months of 1998. In 1997, QAFCO's production amounted to 1.44 million tons of urea and 1.15 million tons of ammonia.

QAFCO's third plant went on stream in March 1997. It was built at $520m by a partnership of Uhde of Germany and Belleli of Italy. The same partnership, which helped secure part financing for that project, is hoping to win the contract for the fourth plant.

QAFCO is owned 75% by the state's Qatar General Petroleum Corp. (QGPC) and 25% by Norsk Hydro of Norway, which has been the world's biggest producer of fertilisers.

Umm Said Refinery's Expansion Will Be Completed By Nov. 2001: A partnership of Lurgi of Germany and LG Engineering of South Korea has begun construction work to expand the Umm Said oil refinery from 60,000 b/d to about 140,000 b/d and this should be completed by November 2001. The project, to cost $850m, will consist of condensate processing units, a new fluid catalytic cracker and an upgrading of the existing facilities at the complex. The condensates will come from the offshore North Field, the world's biggest gas super-giant and the source of huge LNG export plants at Ras Laffan.

The refinery is run by Qatar's state-owned National Oil Distribution Co., (Nodco), a QGPC unit which on Nov. 17 secured a $510m loan from a large group of banks dominated by German institutions, because of Lurgi's role as contractor. Mitsui & Co. of Japan is to take a major part of the refinery's output from late 2001, under a long-term agreement which also helped Nodco get the loan.

QGPC is hoping that work would begin in early 1999 on the construction of a new complex at Umm Said to produce 340,000 t/y of ethylene dichloride, 200,000 t/y of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and 260,000 t/y of caustic soda. This is a joint venture, called Qatar Vinyl Co. (QVC), between Qatar Petrochemical Co.

(31.9%), QGPC (25.5%), Norsk Hydro (29.7%) and Elf Atochem of France (12.9%).

QPC is to raise a $450m commercial loan for the project. Projects in Qatar awaiting banks' finance include the Qatar Chemical Complex (Q-Chem), which is to have a 500,000 t/y ethylene cracker, a 467,000 t/y HDPE and LLDPE plant and a 50,000 t/y hexene-1 unit built at Umm Said (as a JV of QGPC and Phillips Petroleum of the US); and Qatar Hot Briquetted Iron Co. (Qabico), to have a 2m t/y HBI plant at Umm Said (as a JV of Qatar Steel Co., Duferco, Kuwait's National Industries Co., Gulf Investment Corp, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Co., and Qatar Shipping Co.).
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Publication:APS Review Downstream Trends
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Dec 14, 1998
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