Estimated to cost $1,800 million, the grassroots project is expected to be financed by a 70:30 debt/equity package. The plant will initially comprise a 1 million tonne-a-year (t/y) ethane cracker and a polyethylene plant with capacity of 500,000-750,000 t/y. At a later date, the cracker will be expanded to 1.5 million t/y. Excess ethylene from the complex will be transported to Mesaieed via a new pipeline, where it will be used as feedstock for new polyethylene capacity.

Qatar Petrochemical Company (Qapco)and France’s Atofinasigned in early October a memorandum of understanding with QP and Chevron Philllips to participate as equity partners in the ethane cracker element of the Ras Laffan project. The two companies are due to sign a final contract by the end of the year. QP and Chevron Phillips are the equity partners in Qatar Chemical Company (Q-Chem), which is due to complete construction of its $1,100 million plant at Mesaieed project next year. The financial adviser for the Mesaieed is Royal Bank of Scotland, formerly Greenwich NatWest.