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Reliance, GAIL plan petrochem unit in Qatar

Ammar Zaidi in Madrid | July 03, 2008 13:01 IST

Reliance Industries [Get Quote], India's most alued company, and state-run GAIL India [Get Quote] will next week mount pitch with Qatar for jointly setting up a $.3 billion mega petrochemical plant in the gas rich nation.

"A joint delegation will visit Qatar on July 7 to discuss possibilities of setting up a mega petrochemical plant in that country," GAIL chairman and managing director U D Choubey said on the sidelines of the 19th World Petroleum Congress here.

Reliance and GAIL had on December 4, 2007 signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly set up a mega gas-based petrochemical plant.

They had initially identified 10 countries, including Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Vietnam, Australia, South Africa, Angola, Mexico, Russia and Former Soviet Union for exploring possibilities of setting up to 2 million tons chemical plant.

"We have now zeroed in on Qatar, Iran, Algeria, Nigeria and Russia," Choubey said. "We are looking at countries that can provide natural gas as feedstock for the unit."

Petrochemical business, that contributed 32 per cent to GAIL's profit in 2007-08, will add up to 40 per cent in this year's profits.

"Petrochemical is our second most important business after natural gas. We are raising capacity of our Pata petrochemical plant to 4,40,000 tons in next six months (from 410,000 tons currently) and want to set up two mega units - one in India and one abroad."

The Indian unit is being planned at Vizag in Andhra Pradesh in a five-way joint venture with Total of France, Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd, Mittal Energy, Oil India and GAIL.

The five are exploring possibilities for setting up a 15 million tons a year export oriented refinery together with a one million tons petrochemical plant at Vizag.

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