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Gulf Times (Qatar): Delivery of large equipment for Pearl GTL to begin this year

Published: Tuesday, 23 January, 2007, 10:17 AM Doha Time 
By Pratap John
 
DOHA: The delivery of large equipment required for the multi-billion dollar Pearl GTL project at Ras Laffan will begin later this year, Shell’s country chairman Andrew Brown has said.

Shell is building a Material Operating Facility at Ras Laffan to handle about 3.5mn freight  tonnes of equipment and materials needed for the Qatar’s second Gas-to-Liquids project. “We are setting up the facility on behalf of Ras Laffan Industrial City. And there has been a good progress on that. This will allow us to bring material directly to Ras Laffan and avoid transportation by road. Besides saving time, it will also be a safer process,” Brown pointed out. RasGas and Qatargas among others would also be able to use the material operating facility, he said.

Pearl GTL is a fully integrated gas-to-liquids project being developed by Qatar and Shell under a Development and Production Sharing Agreement (DPSA).

In terms of procurement, Brown said, most of the large equipment has already been ordered. The orders for piping materials  have also been placed.

Contracts worth over $10bn have been placed around the world for equipment relating to the Pearl GTL project, he told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the 6th Annual Gas-to-Liquids Technology & Commercialisation Conference here yesterday.

“Work is now going on at eight different locations worldwide,” Brown said.

Some of the key locations where Pearl GTL work goes on are: the UAE (offshore jackets and fabrication of top sides), France (design for water treatment plant), Japan (gas processing) – Chiyoda and Hyundai Heavy Industries, (core GTL design) – JGC, and (liquid processing unit) – Toyo. Toyo will be moving to Korea because they are in partnership with Hyundai E&C.

Pearl GTL will produce some 140,000 barrels per day of GTL and 120,000bpd of condensate, liquefied petroleum gas and ethane in two trains. The production from the first GTL train is slated for 2010, with the start up of the second train scheduled a year later, Brown said. 

The upstream/downstream Pearl GTL project covers all aspects of the value chain, from the reservoir in the North Field to the marketing of products.

“Around the world we have different design locations where thousands of engineers are working. We are going at great speed and are well on track to start up by 2010,” the Pearl GTL managing director said.

Giving a project update, Brown said site preparation works at Ras Laffan were already on.
Brown said Pearl GTL was one of the largest equity investments Shell had ever made. “It shows our commitment to Qatar and the GTL technology.”

Shell’s first GTL plant at Bintulu in Malaysia is making profits. The plant with a capacity of 14,700bpd is small when compared to Pearl GTL. 

“But it gives us information every day on how to operate a GTL plant. It is a very reliable plant. It gives us the confidence to make this very huge investment here in Qatar,” Brown said.

GTL fuelled cars have proved to be more efficient than petrol vehicles, he pointed out.

He, however, said feedback from Mowasalat, which now uses GTL fuel in its school buses, is still awaited.

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