Technip has been awarded an early engineering contract covering the expansion of Laffan refinery in Qatar, as the Gulf Arab state seeks to boost exports of refined products such as diesel to Asia and Europe, and meet rising domestic demand.
Qatargas, which operates Laffan refinery, in an emailed statement yesterday said it awarded the front end engineering design, or Feed, contract for the facility's second-phase expansion to Technip for an undisclosed sum.
Expansion of the Ras Laffan-based condensate refinery in the northeast of Qatar will double its current 146,000-barrel-a-day capacity to 292,000 barrels, Qatargas said.
The expansion will allow Doha to export and meet domestic demand for naphtha, diesel, liquid petroleum gas, or LPG, and jet fuel, it added.
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"The second phase of Laffan refinery supports the State of Qatar vision to improve product distribution domestically and fully complies with international customers' demands for cleaner fuel products, allowing Qatar to become a net exporter of diesel and other refined products, instead of an importer," Qatargas Chief Executive Officer Khalid Bin Khalifa Al Thani said in the statement.
"Qatar's target is to supply markets across southeast Asia and Europe, emphasising these commercially valuable products for their petrochemical industry," he added.
Laffan refinery is 51 per cent owned by state-owned Qatar Petroleum, or QP, while ExxonMobil Corp and Total each hold 10 per cent stakes, according to the Qatargas website.
Feed works are scheduled for completion by the first quarter of 2012, while the engineering, procurement and construction, or EPC, contract is expected to be awarded by the third quarter next year, according to the statement.
Laffan refinery started production in September 2009 and uses field condensate supplied by Qatargas and Rasgas, the state-controlled liquefied natural gas, or LNG, producers. The refinery produces a daily 62,000 barrels of naphtha, 52,000 barrels of kerojet, 24,000 barrels of gasoil and 8,000 barrels of LPG.
Tasweeq, the international marketing arm of Qatar Petroleum, in March said Qatar will export 200 million tonnes a year of condensate in 2014, up from 125 million tonnes a year in 2010.
Qatar is the world's largest producer of LNG - natural gas cooled so it becomes liquid - and exports close to 77 million tonnes a year.
The wealthy country is developing its downstream industry to diversify its economy and generate revenues from the export of liquid fuels to fast-growing economies in Asia.