Qurain waits on feedstock decision for Jubail petrochemicals plant

21 March 2012

Planned plant will take feedstock from Saudi Aramco’s Jubail refinery

Kuwait’s Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company (QPIC) expects to see a decision in mid-April on its feedstock allocation for a planned $1.2bn integrated polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plant.

If it goes ahead, the plant will receive a paraxylene feedstock allocation from the Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Company (Satorp), the Saudi joint venture with French oil company Total, also in Jubail.

“We are still waiting for a decision from Satorp on the feedstock allocation. The plant will consume its entire paraxylene production,” said Fuad Akbar, chief projects officer at QPIC speaking at MEED’s Petrochemicals 2012 conference.

QPIC is one of at least seven petrochemical firms bidding to develop the PET plant, including Saudi Arabia’s The National Industrialization Company (Tasnee), sources close to the project told MEED on the sidelines of the conference.

The 400,000 barrel a day (b/d) Satorp refinery started construction in 2009 and is due to be completed by the end of 2013. It will produce gasoline, diesel and jet fuels, as well as some basic petrochemicals, including paraxylene, benzene and propylene.

US consultancy IHS was appointed by QPIC in December 2011 to advise on the planning and development of the complex. The feasibility study for the plant is nearing completion by the US’ Nexant.

If Qurain is appointed to develop the PET plant, it could appoint a project management consultant by the middle of 2012, and will begin looking for technology partners before launching engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) tenders. The plant could be onstream by 2016, says a source close to the project.

Using 660,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of paraxylene, the complex will produce about 1 million t/y of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), 800,000 t/y of PET as well as other downstream products.

Some of the PTA will be offered to local markets, while most will be converted to PET resin. The complex will support the downstream conversion industry in Saudi Arabia in the production of bottle pre-forms, sheet and films for the packaging of food and consumer goods.

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