Nicosia, Mar 23: Qatar Petroleum International (QPI) and China's Sinopec have signed a memorandum of understanding for construction of an ethylene plant with the capacity to produce between 700,000 and 800,000 tons of ethylene a year in China. As of now, the location of the plant has not been decided.
Nasir Jaidah, QPI's Managing Director, told reporters that Qatar would supply the condensate feedstock for the plant, which is expected to start production in 2013. Jaidah pointed out that the ethylene plant would be QPI's first investment in China. At present, China produces about 10 million tons of ethylene a year, while the country's demand is close to 24 million tons a year. Ethylene is the most produced organic compound in the world; global production of ethylene exceeded 75 million metric tons per year in 2005.
To meet the ever increasing demand for ethylene, sharp increases in production facilities have been added globally particularly in the Gulf countries. Ethylene cracker capacities in the Gulf region alone are projected to increase from eight million tons in 2000 to 28 million tons by 2010.