Equate studies petrochemical expansion plans for 2015

04 December 2012

Kuwaiti firm Equate will not make any major capital investments in 2013

Kuwait’s Equate Petrochemical Company is carrying out a study for the debottlenecking its Shuaiba production facilities by 2015.

The company has ruled out any major capital project investments in 2013 and will concentrate on enhancing production from its existing plants, according to Mohammad Hussain, Equate’s chief executive officer.

“We are carrying out a study looking at debottlenecking our existing facilities in the coming two years,” says Hussain, speaking on the sidelines of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) forum in Dubai on 29 November.

Since the study is ongoing, no expansion figure is yet available.

“2013 will be about studies. We will not see a major investment, but we will have some clarity on the direction of expansion,” says Hussain.

The company produces more than 825,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) from its facility in Shuaiba, along with 550,000 t/y of mono-ethylene glycol (MEG).

Equate is a joint venture of state-owned Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC) and the US’ Dow Chemical, along with two Kuwaiti firms: Boubyan Petrochemical Company; and Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company.

The company has been hoping for a decision from its parent company, PIC, on the delayed construction of a third olefins cracker in Kuwait, which will use a mixed feed of gas and liquids.

“We have not been invited yet, but will be happy to participate,” says Hussain.

PIC had previously said it hopes to start production in 2017 from the cracker complex, which will produce 1.4 million t/y of ethylene, 450,000 t/y in total of LLDPE and HDPE, along with 600,000 t/y of glycols.

PIC completed a feasibility study in late-2011, but has not confirmed whether it will go ahead with the project. If the project does proceed, it is likely to use a joint-venture model, while local subsidiaries such as Equate are being considered.

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