Qatar Petroleum (QP) and ExxonMobil Chemical Qatar, a subsidiary of the US’ Exxon Mobil Corporation, have signed an agreement to jointly develop a petrochemicals complex in Ras Laffan Industrial City, in northern Qatar.

The planned complex will include a 1.6-million-tonnes-a-year (t/y) steam cracker, two 650,000-t/y gas phase polyethylene plants, and a 700,000-t/y ethylene glycol plant. 

The steam cracker and the polyethylene plants will be the largest of their kind in the world.

The agreement was signed by QP Chairman Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah and Steve Pryor, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company, at a ceremony in Doha on 6 January.

The plants will be based on ExxonMobil’s steam cracking and polyethylene technology, and will use gas feedstock from Qatar’s North field.

The products will be sold to markets worldwide, with a particular focus on the growing Asian markets, according to the US company.

Production is expected to start in late 2015.