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Thu 8 Apr 2010 01:48 AM

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Qatar's ethane cracker to reach full capacity by August

Qatofin plant was originally scheduled to reach full output by January of this year.

Qatar’s Ras Laffan Olefins Co’s ethane cracker is producing ethylene and will reach maximum capacity by August, Oil Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al Attiyah said today in Doha.

The 1.3 million ton a year cracker supplies ethylene to Qatofin Co’s new petrochemical plant, which produces so called linear low density polyethylene used to make plastic.

The Qatofin plant, which began operating last year, was to reach full output by last January, when the cracker was scheduled to start production, Qatar Petrochemical Co General Manager Mohammed Yousef al Mulla said in November.

Qatar is investing in chemical and industrial plants to diversify its exports away from oil and liquefied gas, which account for more than half the country’s gross domestic product.

The businesses will be supplied and fuelled by the country’s natural gas reserves, the third largest in the world.

State owned Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil Corp agreed to build a $6 billion chemical plant earlier this year.

Attiyah said yesterday the country is studying the construction of an aromatics plant fuelled by naphtha made at a new domestic condensate refinery.

Ras Laffan Olefins is owned by Qatar Chemical Co, a venture between Qatar Petroleum and Chevron Phillips Chemical Co, and Qatofin, a venture between Total SA and a subsidiary of Industries Qatar.

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