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QatarEnergy, Chevron team up to build $6 billion gas-to-plastics plant

The Ras Laffan Petrochemicals Complex will produce 2.1 million tons of ethylene derivatives annually.

QatarEnergy, Chevron team up to build $6 billion gas-to-plastics plant
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

QatarEnergy and Chevron Phillips Chemical agreed to a $6 billion deal to construct a plant that will include a giant ethane cracker in the Middle East and convert natural gas into polyethylene and other polymers.

In 2026, the Ras Laffan Petrochemicals Complex will begin operating, producing 2.1 million tons of ethylene and 1.7 million tons of polyethylene derivatives annually.

According to Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Minister of Energy in Qatar, and the President and CEO of QatarEnergy, the complex will emit “less trash and greenhouse gases” than comparable facilities throughout the globe. In this joint venture, Texas-based Chevron Phillips owns 30% of the ownership.

Ras Laffan will quadruple Qatar’s capacity to produce polymers, rising from 2.6 million tons annually to more than 4 million tons. Qatar’s ability to produce petrochemicals will increase to over 14 million tons annually.

“This marks QatarEnergy’s largest investment ever in Qatar’s petrochemicals sector and the first direct investment in 12 years. The investment “marks an important milestone in QatarEnergy’s downstream expansion strategy.” Al-Kaabi said.

“It will not only facilitate further expansion in the downstream and petrochemical sectors in Qatar, but will also reinforce our integrated position as a major global player in the upstream, LNG, and downstream sectors,” he added.

Environmental activists have long targeted ethylene crackers, which transform gas into ethylene, for their emissions, even though ethylene and polyethylene are utilized in a wide range of plastic items, including pipelines, water bottles, and food packaging.

In addition to the North Field, which has the largest deposits in the world and extends under the Gulf of Aden into Iranian territory, Qatar possesses a sizable natural gas reserve.

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