A satellite image of Ras Laffan region. (Credit: NASA / commons.wikimedia.org)
The agreements’ signing ceremony for the Ras Laffan Petrochemical Complex in Doha. (Credit: QatarEnergy.)
QatarEnergy owns a 70% equity share in the Ras Laffan Petrochemical Complex JV, while the remaining 30% share will be with CPChem. (Credit: QatarEnergy.)

Ras Laffan Petrochemical Complex is an under construction integrated polymer olefins and polyethylene complex in Ras Laffan Industrial City in Qatar.

The petrochemical complex is being developed by a joint venture (JV) between QatarEnergy and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company (CPChem). QatarEnergy owns a 70% equity share in the JV, while the remaining 30% share will be with CPChem.

CPChem and QatarEnergy are also constructing a similar integrated polymers facility in Orange, Texas, the US.

The Final Investment Decision (FID) for Ras Laffan Petrochemical Complex was taken in January 2023.

The development of the petrochemical project will entail an investment of $6bn. The construction of the facility will involve the use of energy saving technology and ethane as feedstock to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.

The petrochemical complex is expected to commence commercial operations in late 2026.

Location details

The Ras Laffan Petrochemical Complex will be located in the Ras Laffan Industrial City (RLIC), 80km north of Doha in Qatar.

RLIC is a 294km2 industrial hub owned and operated by QatarEnergy. It is home to many international companies and situated strategically close to the North Field.

Project details

The Ras Laffan Petrochemical Complex will cover an area of 435 acres.

The complex will have an ethane cracker (Package 1) and two high density polyethylene derivative units (Package 2).

The ethane cracker will have a production capacity of 2.1 million tonnes of ethylene per annum, making it the largest ethane cracker in the Middle East region.

The second package will feature two polyethylene trains with a combined production of nearly 1.7 million tonnes per annum of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) polymer products. Ethylene produced from Package 1 of the project will be delivered as feedstock to Package 2.

The two polyethylene units will have capacities of 1 million and 680,000 tonnes per year respectively.

Early works for the project began in June 2022.

Once operational, the complex will increase Qatar’s petrochemical production capacity to nearly 14 million tonnes per year, doubling its ethylene production capacity and boosting local polymer production to more than 4 million tonnes per annum.

CPChem’s slurry process technology

CPChem plans to use its MarTech loop slurry process to produce high-density polyethylene. This will help in making high-density polyethylene for exports.

Polyethylene is primarily used for making durable goods such as natural gas and water pipes and recreational products such as kayaks and coolers. The product is also used in food packaging and medical supply industry verticals.

Contractors Involved

In January 2023, Samsung Engineering announced receiving a contract for the ethylene unit and its utilities of the Ras Laffan Petrochemical Complex. The Letter of Award (LoA) for the project was received on October 2022.

Samsung Engineering will carry out the works under a joint venture with the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) company CTCI called Samsung Engineering CTCI Joint Venture (SCJV).

As agreed, Samsung Engineering will be responsible for major ethylene production facilities including furnaces, C2 hydrogenation, hydrogen purification unit and three main compressors.

On the other hand, CTCI will take up engineering of utility infrastructure, including steam/condensate collecting and boiler feed water among others.

The related procurement and construction work will be conducted jointly by the SCJV. The contract award marked Samsung Engineering’s re-entry into the Qatari market after being associated with the delivery of the Ras Laffan Diesel Hydrotreater (DHT) project.

Chevron Phillips Chemical will be delivering project management services for the Ras Laffan Petrochemical Project.

Tecnimont won a $1.3bn EPC Lump Sum contract for the implementation of the polyethylene plant as well as associated utilities and offsites facilities. The scope of work will include engineering services, equipment and material supply, and construction activities.