Al-Karaana awards Fluor feed contract for $6.4bn petrochemicals project

04 March 2013

Joint venture between QP and Shell plans massive complex at Ras Laffan

The Al-Karaana Petrochemicals Complex has awarded the US’ Fluor the major front-end engineering and design (feed) contract for its proposed $6.4bn petrochemicals project at Ras Laffan in Qatar.  

Al-Karaana is the new name for the petrochemicals joint venture between Qatar Petroleum (QP) and the UK/Dutch Shell Group at Ras Laffan.

Fluor has been awarded the integration feed contract, which will see the company carry out all of the front-end design and engineering of the three packages using Shell technology, as well as the offsites and utilities.

MEED reported in June 2012 that Fluor was the frontrunner for the feed contract.

“QP and Shell have taken their time to make an award, but noone has ever been that worried that this project was going to be put on hold or cancelled,” says a petrochemicals industry source familiar with the scheme. “Everyone is hoping that Fluor being appointed will get things moving along again.”

The four packages Fluor will be carrying out the feed for are:

  • Offsites & utilities
  • Linear alpha olefins (LAO) unit
  • Monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit
  • Oxo-alcohols unit

The MEG unit will have a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes a year (t/y) and will use Shell technology. The scope of works involves the construction of two trains each with a capacity of 750,000 t/y.

The LAO and oxo-alcohols units will have capacities of 300,000 t/y and 250,000 t/y respectively.

The remaining package is the mixed-feed steam cracker unit. This will be supplied ethane and propane feedstock. The cracker will have a capacity of 1.1 million t/y of ethylene and 170,000 t/y of propylene.

There are only four remaining firms that can provide the technology for the ethylene cracker since the US’ Shaw Group was acquired by France’s Technip. They are:

  • CB&I Lummus (US)
  • KBR (US)
  • Linde (Germany)
  • Technip (France)

The cracker will be tendered to the four technology providers on the basis that the winner will carry out the feed and then either execute the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) alone or team up with an EPC contractor.

“A company such as Technip has the capabilities to carry out the full package alone, but the others will form a partnership with a highly competitive EPC contractor to keep the price as low as possible,” says the petrochemicals industry source.  

Al-Karaana is expected to release the tender for the steam cracker in the third quarter of 2013.  

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