Mideast petchem firms break ground on China, Qatar JVs

  • : Petrochemicals
  • 24/02/21

Key Middle East petrochemical producers broke ground on new joint venture (JV) petrochemical complexes this week in China and Qatar.

In China, Saudi Arabian state-controlled Sabic and China's Fujian Energy and Petrochemical group broke ground on construction of the Sabic Fujian Petrochemical Complex at Gulei Petrochemical Industrial Park in Fujian province. The complex will have a cracker producing 1.8mn t/yr of ethylene, with downstream units producing polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), ethylene glycol and polycarbonate.

Commercial operations are slated to begin in the second half of 2026. Sabic Industrial Investment Company has a 51pc stake in the venture, and Fujian Fuhua Gulei Petrochemical owns the remaining 49pc.

In Qatar, state-owned QE and US-based CPChem broke ground on a PE complex in Ras Laffan Industrial City. QE owns 70pc and CPChem the remaining 30pc. The site will have an ethane cracker that can produce 2.08mn t/yr of ethylene. It also includes two downstream high density polyethylene (HDPE) units with a combined capacity of 1.68mn t/yr. The producers expect commercial operations to begin in late 2026.

CPChem and QE are also building an integrated polymers facility in Orange, Texas through their Golden Triangle Polymers venture. This facility will include an ethane cracker that can produce 2.08mn t/yr and two 1mn t/yr HDPE units. CPChem owns a 51pc stake and QE the remaining 49pc.

Joint ventures have become a popular option for global petrochemical producers looking to expand their reach, as they can help better manage risks associated with fluctuating regional demand, volatile feedstock costs and supply chain uncertainties. Mergers are also being considered. Austria's OMV is in negotiations with the Abu Dhabi's state-controlled Adnoc for a potential consolidation of their polyolefins businesses. This could create a single entity with PE and PP sales volumes exceeding 8mn t/yr.

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