Kuwait’s Equate building $1.7bln petrochemical plant in the US.

Kuwait’s Equate is constructing a petrochemical plant in the US with an investment of $1.7 billion (Dh6.2 billion), the chief executive officer of the company said in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
The production capacity of the plant, which is expected to be ready in the second half of 2019, is 750,000 tons, Mohammad Husain said.

“The plant is coming up along the Gulf coast in the US. It’s an opportunity for us to expand in the US and also the availability of shale gas makes it competitive,” he said speaking to Gulf News at a conference organized by Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association.Kuwait-based Equate is a joint venture involving Petrochemical Industries Company and the Dow Chemicals.

The company produced more than five million tons of petrochemicals last year and another 250,000 tons is expected to be added to the production capacity in 2017.“We will look at increasing the capacity further in coordination with our shareholders,” he said.“Asia is a major market and most of our exports are in that direction. We also export to Europe, Africa, and the United States. More than 90 percent of our production is exported.”

The company recently did a Sukuk and raised $500 million, he said.“It [the money raised from sukuk] was used for refinancing and to build our portfolio. The company has no further Sukuk plans this year.”On the outlook for the petrochemicals industry, he said it is going to be volatile in the short-term but is expected to stabilize beyond 2019.

The company announced $679 million in total net profit for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2016.Speaking at the same event, Mohammad Al Mulla, chief executive officer and managing director of Qatar Petrochemical Company (Qapco), said the petrochemical industry in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) grew by five per cent last year reaching a production capacity of 27 million tons.

The governments in the region benefited from the growth of petrochemical industry in diversifying their portfolios and in creating more value-added solutions, said Al Mulla



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