Total has inaugurated the olefin cracker based on ethane in Ras Laffan, Qatar. With a production capacity of 1.3 million tons of ethylene per year, the Ras Laffan Olefin Cracker (RLOC) will feed the new Qatofin polyethylene plant inaugurated in Mesaieed last November.

Total Petrochemicals, through its participations in Qapco and Qatofin, joint ventures with Qatar Petroleum, holds 22.2% of RLOC. The other partners are Qatar Petroleum and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company.

The ethane feedstock used in the Ras Laffan cracker comes from the North Field, an offshore gas field in which Total holds interests through the Dolphin and Qatargas I and II projects.

The natural gas (methane) is treated for export in the liquefaction plants also based in Ras Laffan and the associated ethane produced at Dolphin will be valorized by the Ras Laffan cracker as raw material for the petrochemical industry.

Francois Cornelis, vice chairman of executive committee at Total and president chemicals, said: “With the start-up last November of the Qatofin polyethylene plant and now with the Ras Laffan cracker, Total is further strengthening its partnership with the Qatari energy and petrochemical sector.

“These major projects are considerably enhancing our position in Petrochemicals, in particular in the growing markets in Asia and the Middle East.”