Charles Kline, past president and chief executive of the local Equate Petrochemical Company, in a keynote presentation to the MEED Future Developments in Gulf Petrochemicals conference in London on 24 September said that Equate-IIwould be the next major petrochemical project in Kuwait. He emphasised that the proposed scheme will be set up as a joint venture between Dow Chemical of the US and the local Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC). A formal announcement on Dow’s involvement is expected within a month.

Equate-II will have a nameplate capacity of 850,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of ethylene, 450,000 t/y of polypropylene and 430,000 t/y of ethylene glycol (MEED 4:1:02; 13:4:01).

The project will be a joint venture between PIC and a foreign partner, with each holding a 40-45 per cent stake. The remaining 10-20 per cent will go to the Kuwaiti private sector through an initial public offering.

Equate-II is the first of two greenfield petrochemical projects that Kuwait Petroleum Corporationplans to set up by 2005/06. The second is an aromatics plant – expected to cost about $1,400 million – which will have a nameplate capacity of 650,000 t/y of paraxylene and 500,000 t/y of monomers. The project is likely to be wholly owned by PIC (MEED 31:8:01).

PIC is seeking the involvement of Dow Chemical in both proposed projects. However, an Equate official said that the US firm’s primary interest would be in olefins and not the proposed aromatics project.

The bid validity bond for the post of project management consultant on the proposed Shuaiba aromatics project is due to expire on 30 September. Three companies – Fluor Daniel, Bechtel, both US-based, and the UK’s AMEC – submitted revised prices by the end of April following a change in the scope of works (MEED 5:7:02).

International law firm Ashurst Morris Crisp is acting as legal adviser to PIC for the aromatics and olefins-2 projects (MEED 17:5:02).