2013-02-26 01:42:33 - New Energy research report from Business Monitor International is now available from Fast Market Research
BMI's latest Qatar Petrochemicals Report examines the latest additions to the country's petrochemicals and fertiliser industries and their position in an increasingly competitive export market. It assesses the shortcomings of the petrochemicals industries where there is a lack of added value which, coupled with rising ethane costs, will affect Qatar's ability to defend its operating margins. It the report also asses the performance of key export markets, particularly China and India, as well as the effects of growing US ethylene capacity on Qatar's future growth prospects.
Qatar's reliance on ethane feedstock has limited its petrochemicals industry to some extent as it does not produce the same range of by-products as those countries which rely on propane and naphtha feedstocks. This means
it is likely to be sidelined in the special chemicals markets because, although the government is seeking to redress this imbalance with mixed crackers, other industries are also capitalising on the increasing global demand, and Qatar will be left behind. In particular, this has affected Qatar's lack of aromatics production leaving it with a narrow product portfolio.
Full Report Details at
- www.fastmr.com/prod/541267_qatar_petrochemicals_report_q2_2013.a ..
Planned projects include the US$5.5bn Ras Laffan complex which is on schedule. A final investment decision on Qatar Petroleum's proposed joint venture (JV) with Shell at Ras Laffan is expected in 2014 with total finished petrochemicals productions over 2 million tonnes per annum (mn tpa). Due onstream in Q4 2015, ExxonMobil's JV with QP, will lead to the construction of an ethane-fed cracker with capacity of 1.6mn tpa ethylene and downstream units including two 650,000tpa polyethylene (PE) plants and a 700,000tpa ethylene glycol unit. Separately, the recently completed RLOC cracker is expected to benefit from expansion work during its next maintenance turnaround - scheduled for 2013-14.
Overall, the petrochemicals market is going to undergo a period of massive change over the next decade, as unconventional shale and gas reserves are produced and alter market dynamics. Given the vast reserves thought to be available in Qatar, the impact of the eventual recovery of these hydrocarbons resources cannot be underestimated.
BMI notes the following developments in Qatar's petrochemical industry:
* Qatar's petrochemicals-specific ratings are strong, with cracker capacity set to increase significantly over the next five years and the country hosting the second largest polyolefins production capacity in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), after Saudi Arabia. Qatar's weakness is its relative lack of economic diversification compared with other countries in the region. Qatar is ranked third in the region with an overall score of 60.6, up 0.5 points and up one place since the previous quarter due to an improvement in country risk. This puts it 0.1 point ahead of Kuwait and 3.4 points behind the UAE.
* Qatar's petrochemicals industry received a boost in Q412 with the commencement of production at new polyethylene and fertiliser plants. Qapco's delayed 300,000tpa low density polyethylene LDPE plant came onstream in November 2012, raising its total capacity to 700,000tpa and making it one of the world's leading LDPE producers. In the following month, Qafco inaugurated its sixth urea plant, giving it a 15% share of the world's urea market with capacity of 6mntpa; the company expects its urea output to exceed 5.6mntpa in 2013 and BMI believes it will rise to nearly 5.9mnt in 2017.
* The government is considering diversifying cracker feedstock to compensate for its focus on ethane, producing polypropylene (PP) and PE instead in two mixed-feed crackers (53% ethane and 47% propane). This would provide the basis of product diversification in the future, enabling Qatar to expand its portfolio and spread its risk exposure.
* In recent months there has been a concerted effort - in both the upstream and downstream sectors of Qatar's oil and gas industry - to improve safety and strive for industry excellence. Consequently, a number of advances have been made in safety and production efficiency which will only have a beneficial effect on future production levels. Evidence of this can be seen in the recent awards that have been made to Qatar Chemical Company, Qatar Petrochemical Company, RasGas and Dolphin Energy, all of whom are winners of the Qatar Oil & Gas Industry Safety, Excellence and Innovation Awards.
* Foster Wheeler recently announced that it had won a contract from Shell Global Solutions International to develop an engineering package for its world-scale MEG facility at the Ras Laffan Industrial City. This will be an entirely new petrochemicals complex developed as a JV between Qatar Petroleum (QP) and Shell, with a two-train mono ethylene glycol (MEG) facility with a capacity of 1.5mn tonnes per annum (tpa).
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