QVC Chlorine / Ethylene Dichloride /, Qatar


During the second half of 2001 a chlorine / ethylene dichloride / vinyl chloride monomer complex built by joint venture company Qatar Vinyl Company (QVC) was officially opened. The plant produces 202,790t/a ethylene dichloride (EDC), 227,679t/a vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), 307,497t/a caustic soda, and 260,000t/a chlorine. Sodium hydroxide is also produced. The whole project was completed on time and within the budget of $695 million. Engineering and construction was completed within 32 months.

JOINT VETURE COMPANY

QVC, established in 1997, was a joint venture between Qatar Petrochemical Company (25.5%), Qatar General Petroleum Corporation (31.9%), Hydro (29.7%) and Atofina (12.9%). During 2002 Atofina increased its stake in QVC.

These companies share the responsibility for sales and marketing. Material is sold to customers in Australia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

EDC, VCM AND CHLORINE FACILITIES

At the beginning of 1999, QVC awarded a consortium, which included Krupp Uhde, now known as Uhde, and Technip Italy, a turnkey contract to build the EDC, VCM and chlorine facilities. The contract was valued at $450 million.

SUB CONTRACTS - PLASTIC PIPING

Krupp Uhde and Technip each awarded individual sub contracts to Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC). The contract, which included the supply of plastic piping, was valued at $107.9 million. CCC commented that this project was unique as they had to work with the two main contractors on an individual basis rather than as one consortium which is more often the case. CCC is a privately owned contracting and construction company headquartered in Greece, which operates globally.

CHLORINE PROCESS TECHNOLOGY

The chlorine and caustic is produced using membrane technology supplied by Uhde. The company describes the process as a modular concept consisting of single elements. The process is also environmentally friendly and energy saving.

EDC / VCM TECHNOLOGY

Vinnolit supplied the process technology which QVC uses for the production of EDC and VCM. The production process uses a Vinnolit's inorganic complex which works as a catalyst. The advantages of the process are said to include low investment costs, production of high purity EDC and no consumption of catalyst.

FIRE FIGHTING EQUIPMENT

Knowsley SK was awarded a contract to provide fire fighting and safety equipment, including hydrants, extinguishers and foam equipment. Knowsley is based in the UK and is a global supplier of high risk fire fighting control systems.

DATABASE DEVELOPMENT

APS Engineering, based in Italy, was awarded a contract by Technip Italy to provide requisitions and instrument database development and control room engineering. The contract was awarded on a lumpsum basis.

SUPPLY OF CABLES

Kerpen Industrial a German-based company was awarded a contract by Krupp Uhde to provide instrument, low voltage, medium voltage and control cables for the QVC project. Kerpen is a specialist provider of cable technology across a range of industries including exploration, refining or gas processing sites, power generation and petrochemical.

SUPPLY OF SALT

Jordan Safi Salt Company (Jossco) was awarded a multi-million dollar contract to export salt to QVC's production plant. Shipments of salt, extracted from the Dead Sea, began in 2001. The contract covers the supply of 250,000t/a of salt and operates on a five-year renewable basis. The contract also has a provision for a 25% increase in the original amount of salt shipped. QVC uses salt in its production process.

EXPANSION PLANS

During the final quarter QVC announced that it had begun a pre-feasibility study to evaluate 'possible scenarios related to the expansion prospects' of the vinyl production facilities. A proposal was due to be put to the QVC board by the first quarter of 2003. To date a decision has not being announced.