Al Sejeel Petrochemical Complex, Ras Laffan, Qatar

QP and QAPCO merged together to develop the complex

Al Sejeel Petrochemical Complex is under construction at Ras Laffan Industrial City, about 70km north of Doha. The petrochemicals complex is slated for commissioning in 2018.

QP and QAPCO merged together to develop the complex by signing the Heads of Agreement (HoA) in February 2012. QAPCO holds an 80% share in the project while QP holds the remaining 20%. The project is expected to generate approximately 1,500 jobs.

The project forms part of Qatar's efforts to increase the petrochemicals sector's output to 23 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTA) by 2020 to further diversify and boost its economy. The country's petrochemicals sector currently accounts for ten million metric tonnes per annum production capacity.

Project management services for the construction of the complex, including the initial services for the front-end engineering design (FEED) phase, will be provided by Bechtel. The products from the complex will be targeted for the growing markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Al Sejeel petrochemicals complex details

"The country's petrochemicals sector currently accounts for ten million metric tonnes per annum production capacity."

The complex will feature a world-scale mixed-feed steam cracker, using original mixed feedstock of ethane, butane and naphtha. The feedstock will be sourced from natural gas projects located in the north of Qatar.

The complex will produce 1.4MMTA of ethylene, 850,000 metric tonnes per annum (KMTA) of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), 430 KMTA of linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), 760 KMTA of polypropylene, 83 KMTA of butadiene and py-gasoline.

The polypropylene (PP) production facility will produce homopolymers, random copolymers and impact copolymers, which are used in packaging, durable goods, automotive parts, non-wovens, fibres and consumer applications. Polyethylene, on the other hand, is used mainly in packaging.

Technology at the Ras Laffan petrochemicals complex

The technology licence contracts for the project were signed in June 2012. Univation Technologies will provide the polyethylene technology and Union Carbide Chemicals & Plastics Technology, a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, will provide the polypropylene technology.

Polypropylene from the complex will be processed by applying the UNIPOL PP Process Technology. The polypropylene plant will be the first of its kind in the country. The polyethylene plant will implement the UNIPOL PE Process Technology.

UNIPOL PP Process is an all gas-phase technology based on a fluidised bed reactor system. It is commonly applied in unison with Dow Chemicals' SHAC Catalyst Systems and the new CONSISTA Donor technology. CONSISTA Donor technology is incorporated in applications that require a combination of high stiffness and high melt flow, using very little peroxide. SHAC Catalyst Systems can be fed directly into the reactor, requiring no pretreatment, activation or pre-polymerisation.

Equipment installed at the Al Sejeel facility

The UNIPOL PE Process requires just three pieces of major rotating equipment comprising of a cycle gas compressor, a vent recovery compressor and a pelleting system, irrespective of the catalyst used.

"The polypropylene (PP) production facility will produce homopolymers, random copolymers and impact copolymers."

The process involves passing of the feedstock through purification beds and the circulation loop, before they are reacted with a catalyst in a reactor. The gases leave the reactor and pass through the compressor and further through the heat exchanger.

The resins in the process leave the reactor through a discharging system following which they are separated from unreacted raw materials which are compressed, cooled and liquefied. The resins are then conveyed to the additive system where they are mixed and formed into pellets.

The PP process requires a very small footprint of 60mx65m or a total of 3,900m². The process includes purification, reaction, purging, vent recovery, additive addition and pelleting operations. The plant will use a single reactor to produce homopolymers and random copolymers, and an additional second reactor in series with the first to produce impact copolymers.

NRI Energy Technology

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