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Qatar Fertiliser Company


QAFCO-6 makes Qatar the 4th largest urea producer in the world

Published On: Wed, 6 Mar 2013

This also holds the potential to make Qatar the largest urea exporter in the world, with 15 per cent of total traded urea being QAFCO urea

  Q6 Inauguration group photo

Mesaieed: In a glittering ceremony on Tuesday, His Highness Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, inaugurated the QAR 2.2 Billion QAFCO-6 project in the industrial city of Mesaieed. The project will make QAFCO the world’s 4th largest producer of urea and potentially largest exporter in the world.The ceremony was attended by H.E. Dr. Mohamed Bin Saleh Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry, Their Excellencies The Sheikhs, dignitaries from Qatar Petroleum, QP subsidiaries, Yara, Snamprogetti and Hyundai along with the dignitaries from different economic sector corporations. Diplomats from different countries attended the event. A documentary film based on QAFCO-6 project marked the opening of the event in which H.E. Dr. Mohamed Bin Saleh Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry, said, “Qatar’s transformation has come about through Sound Economic Management, Responsible Exploitation of Qatar’s bountiful hydrocarbon resources and planned Economic Diversification. This has been brought about through the wise guidance and directives of His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, who has envisioned Qatar to be a vibrant and prosperous country with all round progress, and special attention on human, social, economic and environmental development.” Speaking about the elements of success in Qatar’s growth, His Excellency said, “Qatar recognised the importance of utilizing the most efficient technologies for developing its resources. To achieve this, we have established strategic and mutually beneficial partnerships with International partners.” On the new QAFCO-6 project, the Minister H.E. Dr. Al-Sada said, “With the start-up of this new plant, QAFCO 6, the company’s annual production of urea will reach 5.6 million metric tons. This is a glorious example of continuity and stability which has led to eight folds expansion of its urea production over the past 15 years, establishing QAFCO as a key player in the global fertilizer market.” H.E. Abdulaziz Bin Ahmed Al-Malki, QAFCO Chairman, said “The inauguration of our sixth production facility, by HH Sheikh Tamim bn Hamad Al-Thani, Heir Apparent of the State of Qatar, on the threshold of 40th year of production, will propel QAFCO to being the largest exporter and fourth largest producer of urea in the world. This will represent a major leap on QAFCO’s scale of progress and further enhance our role in the economic development of Qatar.” Talking about fertiliser markets, H.E. Al-Malki said, “At present, we are exporting to more than 45 countries and this is bringing QAFCO to be one of the major fertiliser exporters in the world.” On future plans, HE Al-Malki said, “The future of QAFCO will never stop at where we are now. We do have a very ambitious planning and strategy ahead out of which with all the support of the team, management, QP and our shareholders, we will be very much dominating future markets.” Mr. Khalifa Abdulla Al-Sowaidi, QAFCO, Vice Chairman & CEO said “With the inauguration   of QAFCO-6, 15 per cent of globally traded urea will be QAFCO’s.” He added that, to be the largest producers of ammonia and urea in the world is a dream that QAFCO had cherished for long and with QAFCO-6 expansion it had taken yet another long stride towards that goal. “High quality products, a strategic geographical location, efficient logistic facilities and reliability in supply are among the factors that have propelled the growth of QAFCO into a main producer and exporter of ammonia and urea in the world. The QAFCO 6 project will further enhance QAFCO’s global standing.” He added. Commenting on the enormity of the current production quantity, Mr. Al-Sowaidi said “Post QAFCO-6, the total annual production capacity of 5.6 million MT means QAFCO would be producing about 17,000 T per day, which translates to more than 45,000 T of urea that can be shipped from QAFCO every three days.” QAFCO signed the QAR 2.2 billion QAFCO-6 project contract with the consortium lead by Saipem S.p.a. (Italy) and Hyundai Engineering and Construction (South-Korea) materialized in November 2009. In fact, the expansion was actually an option in the QAFCO-5 contract that allowed QAFCO to upgrade all the ammonia excess from Qafco 5 to Urea.

 Continuing with the same contractors also allowed QAFCO to take advantage of the resources already mobilized for QAFCO-5, and thus save time and resources. The contract covered the supply of licenses, engineering, procurement, construction and start-up of a complete granulated urea production plant with a capacity of 3,850 tonnes per day and associated utilities and off-site units at the Qafco Complex in Mesaieed Industrial City. The construction works was contracted to take 35 months with the completed project to be taken over by QAFCO at the end of the 3rd quarter of 2012. Besides Saipem and Hyundai, the main contractors, a number of international and national construction companies took part in the project construction as sub-contractors.A brief on the project:The QAFCO-6 project consists of a single urea plant - Urea 6, with a design capacity of 3800 metric tonnes per day (mtpd) of urea including a granulator unit with a design capacity of 3850 mtpd. The annual production capacity is 1,350,000 metric tons. Snamprogetti is the licensor for the urea plant and the granulation plant is licensed to Uhde Fertilizer Technology. The Uhde Fertilizer Technology for granulation has also been used for QAFCO 3&4 The Auxiliary units Storage: A complete urea granules storage with a capacity of 175,000 mt with reclaimer. Material handling: A complete material handling system with a capacity of 1000 mtph of urea granules from Q5 Site, on the interconnection pipe rack and through QAFCO Site tying in to the product export conveyers and spare tripper cars of both bulk hall C and bulk hall D Utilisation of excess carbon dioxide - A Carbon dioxide (CO2 ) inter-connection line and booster will allow to utilise all the excess CO2 from Qafco Site by the new Urea 5 and 6 on Qafco 5 Site Shared utilitiesAt present, just as in QAFCO-5, some key utilities and raw materials are being shared, such as ammonia, cooling water make-up, methanol from Qafac and desalinated water backup. In addition, the maintenance of the units is done under management of common maintenance organization using the skills/ manpower and experience from the existing organization. Other services such as HSE management, security, and laboratory are being shared and sourced from Qafco’s existing organization. Qafco 6, like QAFCO-5, is also integrated with Qafco in many ways with the target to achieve reliable and safe operations of the Qafco 6 plants as well as the existing Qafco plants. Speaking on ‘no compromise on quality’, he added, “We chose a totally enclosed pipe conveyor, a first in the Middle East, to prohibit any urea contamination.” Adding further, Mr. Khalifa A Al-Sowaidi, QAFCO CEO said “QAFCO has ensured the quality of its product. We have invested heavily in development and research and use sophisticated laboratory testing and the latest computer technologies throughout the production process to ensure customer satisfaction and making our products more competitive in the global markets.” Right through the project phase, safety was given top priority. “We put in uncompromising safety procedures to surmount challenges posed by the commissioning and start-up of QAFCO-5 happening simultaneously”, Mr. Al-Sowaidi added. Speaking on the impact on the environment, he said that many environment friendly initiatives and procedures ensured that QAFCO-6 project was a zero environment impact venture. Speaking about the future plans for expansion, Mr. Al-Sowaidi said, “As part of Qatar vision 2030, that is food security. QAFCO should play an important role because as fertiliser is directly affects food supply. Expansion will be a priority for QAFCO.” H.E. Al-Malki said, “The project manifests the vision of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar and His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Heir Apparent, under whose leadership Qatar has reached the towering position that it is at today” H. E. Dr. Al- Sada commented that “Today, QAFCO is a mature company, operating safely and efficiently for the past 40 years, led by a capable and experienced Qatari Management.” He further added that, “QAFCO is always actively looking at opportunities here in Qatar and abroad, for expansion and diversification into other products.”


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