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MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) - 06/01/2009

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(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Despite the current global financial crisis, Equate Petrochemical Company managed to fulfill its targets for 2008, Equate's Vice-President for Technical Services Mahmoud Al-Qattan said on Tuesday.

"The company secured excellent results in the first three quarters of 2008, " he said in statements to KUNA.
"The annual results were pretty good," he said, noting that the financial crisis in the last quarter had limited impact only on the company.

"The company maintained its position as one of the world's top-notch producers of petrochemicals despite the current financial hardships that faced almost all international companies," he affirmed.

The slide of the oil prices has had hardly any impact on the company's operations as these operations depend on natural gas.

"Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) supplies us with gas under long-term contracts, so the company was able to avert the impact of the fluctuating prices of oil," Al-Qattan explained.

Global industrial standardization agencies gave Equate an advanced rating in recognition of its performance in all activities, he pointed out.

Equate started operating its major project dubbed Equate-2 which aims to double the output of the company and add new products to the market.

The construction works of the project started in 2004 at a total cost of USD 2.5 billion contributed by several local, regional, and global partners and banks.

The project produces basic ingredients for producing nylon such as polyethylene and polypropylene, and ethylene glycol which is a key ingredient in the production of polyester and nylon as well as plastic industries in general.

The production capacity of the project amounts to 2 million tons a year, Al-Qattan disclosed.
The company's ethylene glycol unit, one of the world's leading producers of this material, has become operational last August.

The unit will add 600,000 tons to the current 550,000-ton output of the company, he revealed, noting that the unit passed all necessary technical tests.

A new ethylene producing unit has also become operational with a total capacity of 850,000 tons a year. The production capacity of the unit can be expanded further to one million tons.

Equate has set the stage for the inauguration of two factories for producing styrene at a capacity of 450 tons per year, besides the inauguration in early 2008 of two factories for producing polyethylene which have a total capacity of 225,000 tons a year, Al-Qattan told KUNA.

The company's traditional export markets are located in the Middle East, North Africa, the Far East, and Europe, Al-Qattan went on to say, noting that Equate now targets new customers in other parts of the world.

Equate is jointly owned by Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC, a KNPC subsidiary) and US. Dow Chemical Co., each holding a 42.5 percent stake. The remaining 15 percent of the capital is owned by Boubyan Petrochemicals - nine percent, and Qurain Petrochemical Industries Co., 6 percent.


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