Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LLC (CPChem) said Monday it is working with the world’s largest natural gas producer, Qatar Petroleum (QP), to develop a petrochemicals complex in Qatar.

The facility, designed to produce ethylene and high-density polyethylene (HDPE), would be constructed in Ras Laffan Industrial City. Initial plans include a 1,900 million metric ton/year (mmty) ethane cracker and two HDPE derivative units with a combined capacity of 1.68 mmty.

The project agreements were signed in Doha by QP CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi and CPChem CEO Mark E. Lashier. The venture would be split 70-30, with QP owning the majority stake. The engineering design phase of the project is set to begin with operational start up now set for late 2025.

“The conclusion of these agreements constitutes an important milestone for Qatar Petroleum as petrochemicals represent a major pillar of our growth strategy to achieve our vision of becoming one of the best national oil and gas companies in the world,” Al-Kaabi said.

QP last year said it would develop additional gas reserves in the country’s North Field to increase liquefaction capacity by 43%. Plans included adding a fourth liquefaction train to raise capacity to 110 mmty from 77 mmty.

The fourth train is to add an estimated 32 mmty of liquefied natural gas (LNG), 4,000 metric tons/day of ethane, 260,000 b/d of condensate, 11,000 tons/day of liquefied petroleum gas and 20 tons/day of pure helium.

QP, which supplies about one-third of the world's LNG, in 2017 lifted a decade-long moratorium on North Field development to potentially increase LNG output and launch a petrochemicals project, which it said at the time would include the largest ethane cracker in the Middle East.

In addition to licensing the MarTECH loop slurry process for manufacturing HDPE, CPChem would provide project management, engineering and construction services for the proposed petrochemical project.

During the development phase, the companies plan to study the potential efficiencies that could be realized by harnessing the existing capabilities of their Qatar Chemical Co., aka Q-Chem, joint ventures to provide overall operational management of the facility once complete.

“Developing this project is a tremendous opportunity for our company to expand on our highly successful joint ventures with the State of Qatar to meet the growing global demand for petrochemical products that enrich lives around the world,” said Lashier.

“Qatar is one of the world’s leading producers of the natural gas liquids that will fuel these world-scale assets. This project fits perfectly with our global strategy to build petrochemical assets in regions of the world where feedstock options are abundant and competitively priced.”

CPChem, headquartered north of Houston in The Woodlands, is a top global producer of olefins and polyolefins, as well as a leading supplier of aromatics, alpha olefins, styrenics, specialty chemicals, plastic piping and polymer resins. It is equally owned indirectly by Chevron Corp. and Phillips 66.