Foster Wheeler and UOP sign up for LAB scheme

10 January 2003
Qatar Petroleum (QP)signed on 6 January two key contracts on its linear alkyl benzene (LAB) project at Mesaieed. The UK office of US-based Foster Wheelerwas appointed the front-end engineering and design (FEED) contractor and the project management consultant on the estimated $240 million scheme, while the UK office of the US' UOPwas selected as the technology licensor (MEED 12:7:02).

The FEED package will take nine months to complete, allowing for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) tender to be issued by the end of the year. Commissioning is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2005. The project's feasibility study was carried out by Foster Wheeler.

The plant, to be built within the battery limits of the Mesaieed refinery, will use kerosene feedstock and take advantage of existing utilities and port infrastructure. It will comprise two main units, an 80,000 tonne-a-year (t/y) normal paraffin (n-paraffin) plant and a 100,000-t/y LAB plant. In addition, new tankage and product distribution pipelines will be installed.

In a departure from recent practise, QP is planning to implement the project with local private investors. The move is seen as part of the government's determination to grant the private sector a greater role in the downstream oil and gas sector.

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