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Asif Iqbal
The $1.5 billion Laffan Refinery 2 (LR2) is likely to be inaugurated by the Emir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani on Monday at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC).
The LR2 has a capacity to refine 146,000 barrels per day of condensate from the North Field, the largest non-associated natural gas reserve in the world. It will compliment the LR1, which also has the capacity of 146,000 barrels per stream day (BPSD) and currently utilises the field condensate produced from the Qatargas and RasGas facilities.
The Emir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani had formally laid the foundation stone for LR2 in April 2014. The LR 2 refinery is part of an integrated development programme implemented by the energy and industry sector in the country to enhance its capability to fulfill diverse energy needs.
It is a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum, Total, Idemitsu, Cosmo, Marubeni and Mitsui. LR2, like LR1 which started operations in 2009, will be operated by Qatargas Operating Company Limited (Qatargas). The LR2 project, located at Ras Laffan Industrial City, would add to Qatargas' integrated value chain and generate revenue from supplying the refined products into domestic and export markets.
"The LR2 was completed on scheduled time and well within the budget," Salman Ashkanani, Chief Operating Officer - Refinery Ventures, told reporters during a media tour to the Laffan Refinery. The two refineries would produce about 292,000 barrels per day of condensate that would be more than enough to meet the domestic demand, he said.
Ashkanani further said the two refineries combined makes it one of the largest single facilities of its kind in the world as the LR2 is designed to process untreated condensate from Qatar's North Field.
According to COO, in addition to the LR2 condensate refinery, the configuration of the new plant includes a gantry for dispatching diesel to the local market by trucks (and a diesel hydrotreater unit processes all light gasoil from LR1 and LR2. He said all products from the LR2 complex are hydrotreated and its sulphur content meets the most stringent quality specifications.
The LR2 has a daily production capacity of 60,000 barrels of naphtha, 53,000 barrels of jet fuel, 24,000 barrels of gasoil and 9,000 barrels of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
"The expansion of the existing capacity has been implemented within the framework of an integrated plan to develop the oil and gas industry in Qatar and to diversify the utilisation of natural resources as well as to meet current and future needs of the domestic market of high-quality petroleum products," Saad Sherida al Kaabi, Qatar Petroleum President and CEO, and Chairman of Qatargas Board of Directors had said when the LR2 began commercial operations last year.
The LR 2 produces low sulfur euro-V specifications products such as naphtha, Jet-A1, ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD), propane and butane for local and international markets. Alongside LR1, this new facility is important due to its role in diversifying Qatar's energy mix, which will double the existing production capacity.
Qatargas, the country's largest LNG producer with an annual production of 43 million tonnes per annum, operates the refinery on behalf of the shareholders: Qatar Petroleum (84 percent), Total (10 percent), Cosmo (2 percent), Idemitsu (2 percent), Mitsui (1 percent) and Marubeni (1 percent).
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