Qatofin strikes deal with Italy

Snamprogetti whips up a storm and wins Qatar LLDPE work

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By  Conrad Egbert Published  December 24, 2005

Petrochemical consortium, Qatofin, has awarded two EPC contracts for the construction of a low linear density polyethylene (LLDPE) facility in Qatar, to Italian firm Snamprogetti. The marine work for the project was awarded to Ajman-based Greek firm, Archirodon. The deals are thought to be worth a total of US $300 million (QR1.2 billion). “Work will begin early in March 2006 and will be completed in the last quarter of 2008,” said Christian Schambel, project director of Qatofin. This is part of a larger project in which Qatofin will construct an ethane cracker plant in the Ras Laffan Industrial City and LLDPE facilities in Messaieed, at a total cost of $1.2 billion. The total project cost includes expenditure under the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts as well as financing and owner costs. Last month, Qatofin finalised commitments from 24 mandated lead arrangers to raise $760 million under an international loan facility to finance up to 70% of the Qatofin project costs. Qatofin is a joint venture between Qapco, which holds a 63% stake, French Total Petrochemicals, with 36%, and Qatar Petroleum with 1%. With a 1.3 million tonnes per annum capacity, the ethane cracker plant, owned by Ras Laffan Olefins Company — a joint venture between Qatofin and Q-Chem II — will be one of the world’s largest. The last EPC package — for the ethylene pipe between Ras Laffan and Messaieed has yet to be awarded — but will not affect the schedule of the project, according to the company officials. All plants of Q-Chem II, Qatofin and Ras Laffan Olefins are scheduled to go on stream in the last quarter of 2008, with commercial production expected in early 2009.

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