EQUATE Petrochemical Co. has started commercial operations of its Kuwait Paraxylene Production Co. (KPPC) Aromatics Complex, which will produce paraxylene (PX) and benzene. The $2 billion facility is located in Kuwait’s Shuaiba Industrial Area, with the capacity for 829,000 tonnes/yr of PX production and 393,000 tonnes/yr of benzene capacity. PX is a key feedstock in the production of polyethylene terephthalate, with benzene used in the manufacture of styrene monomer.
KPPC’s Chairman and CEO Mahmoud Al-Qattan noted the start up represented the first major aromatic facility in Kuwait. The complex’s PX output will be marketed by the Petrochemical Industries Co. (PIC) in selected markets, with the benzene to be used locally for the production of styrene monomer (SM) by The Kuwait Styrene Co. (TKSC). Target markets for merchant PX sales will include the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe. KPPC is wholly owned subsidiary of Kuwait Aromatics Company (KARO), which is a joint venture between PIC and KNPC with each holding 40%. Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company (QPIC) holds the remaining 20%. EQUATE’s units include KPPC, TKSC, and The Kuwait Olefins Company (TKOC).
The same site launched a 600,000 tonnes/yr ethylene glycol (EG) unit in August 2008, using Dow Chemical’s Meteor technology. In November 2008, Greater EQUATE started a second ethane steam cracker that boosted ethylene production capacity to 1.7 million tonnes/yr. — [email protected]