Industry sources say the agreement on the feedstock price – now understood to be provided at a price of about $1-1.1 a million BTUs – has paved the way for negotiating the financial arrangements for the project. The talks are expected to take up most of the third quarter and will be followed by the preparation and submission of commercial proposals on the technology supply and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract – most likely in the fourth quarter. HSBCand Royal Bank of Scotlandare the financial advisers toRas Laffan Ethylene Company.

Four international groups submitted technical proposals for the ethylene technology-cum-EPC contract earlier this year. They are: US-based ABB Lummus Global, with Italy’s Snamprogetti; the US’ Shaw International, formerly known as Stone & Webster, with Japan’s JGC Corporation; Paris-based Technip; and Germany’s Linde, with South Korea’s Samsung Engineering Corporation(MEED 6:2:04).

The package involves the construction of a 1.3 million-tonne-a-year (t/y) cracker. The ethylene will feed new downstream petrochemical capacity planned by Q-Chem II and the local/French Qatofinventure in Mesaieed.