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Thu 19 Nov 2009 07:44 AM

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Qatar eyes $9.8bn petro investment in Asia

Plans to build two plants by 2015 to tap demand from world's fastest growing region.

Qatar Petroleum International plans to build two petrochemical plants costing about $9.8 billion in Asia by 2015 to tap demand in the world’s fastest-growing region.

Qatar will partner Cnooc Ltd. and a Chinese petrochemicals maker to construct a $5.8 billion plant in China’s Hainan province, CEO Nasser al-Jaidah said in an interview in Tokyo.

Another project in Vietnam will cost as much as $4 billion and both ventures will use Qatari liquefied petroleum gas to produce chemicals, he said.

“There is huge potential for growth in Asia, especially China,” al-Jaidah said. “We can hit two birds with one stone - tap the markets and exit our product,” he said, without disclosing Qatar’s share of investment in the venture.

The Middle Eastern country in investing in Asia as it seeks new markets for its LPG output that may double to 12 million metric tons by 2010.

Qatar Petroleum International last week agreed to buy stakes in Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s two petrochemical ventures in Singapore. China National Offshore Oil Corp. agreed this month to purchase an additional 3 million tons of Qatari liquefied natural gas a year.

The Hainan plant will have a processing capacity of about 3.8 million tons of LPG a year and may be approved by the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner, in the second half of next year, al-Jaidah said.

The Hainan project will be capable of producing chemicals such as polypropylene, used in tires, shoes and plastic products, he said.

To build the plant in Vietnam, Qatar has begun preliminary talks with Vietnam Oil & Gas Group, known as PetroVietnam, Itochu Corp. and companies in Thailand that al-Jaidah didn’t name.

Qatar Petroleum International will bid next month to construct a gas-fired power plant in Oman, together with Qatar Electricity & Water Co., Chubu Electric Power Co. and Marubeni Corp, the CEO added.

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