Mar. 25, 2015


Nasser Jeham Al-Kuwari

Qatar

Nasser Jeham Al-Kuwari

Chief Executive Officer, Qatar Fuel Additives Company Limited (QAFAC)

BIO

Having served in key leadership roles in energy and industry sector, Nasser Jeham Al-Kuwari was initially appointed as General Manager and Member of the Board of Directors of QAFAC in January 2012. Prior to that, he was a Member of Board of Directors of Qatar Fertilizers Company (QAFCO) and Production Manager of QP-Dukhan. With a degree in BS Electrical Engineering from Bridgeport University in the US, Al-Kuwari has had over 20 years’ experience in the energy and industry sector.

Celebrating 15 years of operations this year, how has Qatar Fuel Additives Company (QAFAC) developed over that period of time?

This year marks a special anniversary for QAFAC. It is 15 years since the establishment of our complex at Mesaieed Industrial City. A petrochemical complex for the production of methanol and MTBE, two products known as fuel additives. Going back to the 1990s, the conceptualization of QAFAC project followed from decisions that entailed significant risks. The fuel additive market and the geopolitical situation of those years represented a major challenge to the project. During these 15 years, QAFAC was able to master the technology needed for the production of methanol and MTBE. From 1999 to 2006, we enjoyed a stable period of production within designed plate capacity. Then, between 2006 and 2012, we introduced a CO2 revamping project (taking the CO2 from neighboring QAFCO), and increased the capacity of the methanol plant by 16%. From 2012 onward, a strategy formulation and implementation period with a number of initiatives was introduced.

QAFAC is currently building the carbon dioxide recovery plant in Mesaieed. How will this new facility impact your operations?

At QAFAC, our methanol production is becoming more environmentally responsible through the development of the Carbon Dioxide Recover (CDR) project. The CDR plant, with a design capacity of 500 ton per day, is the region's largest. It captures the CO2 from the methanol reformer flue gases, cleans them, and injects the high quality CO2 back into the process, enhancing the methanol production and contributing to a more sustainable source of CO2. The CDR plant allows us to reduce the CO2 emission consolidating one of our values, to be a green company.

QAFAC took the initiative to organize the first Middle East Methanol Forum. What were the reasons behind bringing together the various producers from the region?

As the theme of our Middle East Methanol Forum states “Miracle Energy On Hand," methanol is just a simple, miraculous molecule that is the basic building block for so many products that affect our daily lives. The methanol economy, a suggested future economy in which methanol replaces fossil fuels as a means of energy storage, ground transportation fuel, and raw material for synthetic hydrocarbons and their products, is becoming more and more realistic. As a key producer and exporter of methanol, we at QAFAC have an integral and vital role to play in the overall development of the methanol industry. Under the Patronage of His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Al Sada Minister of Energy and Industry, who is also the Guest of Honor, we were excited and pleased with the participation of renowned speakers from all the corners of the globe in Doha on November 26th 2014.

Being an international player with an aggressive export strategy, how do you foresee the global market for Methanol products to develop in the coming years?

Since 2012, the Qatar Chemical and Petrochemical Marketing and Distribution Company (Muntajat QJSC) holds the exclusive rights to market, sell, and distribute QAFAC's products to global markets. Muntajat is responsible for the marketing of our methanol and MTBE products. Based on IHS, the demand for methanol in 2013 was 60.7 million tons per annum. They are forecasting a doubling of demand by 2020 to 120 million. Apart from traditional applications, the increase in methanol demand is due to a resurgence of US methanol production as part of the shale gas boom, an increase in potential methanol energy applications, new technologies like methanol to plastics (MTP) and methanol to olefins (MTO), and other emerging applications such as the use of methanol direct fuel cells and marine fuel.

What are the specific objectives for QAFAC for the next five years?

Our strategy is mapped out up until 2020, and our vision is to be among the top five producers of methanol and its butane derivative, though this represents a considerable challenge. We have been working very closely with our main shareholders (QP and IQ) in conceptualization and prefeasibility studies of our new projects. At the same time, we are working in derivatives of methanol and butane. Apart from our growth-driven strategy, our objective is to consolidate our organizational structure through the improvement of governance frameworks, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and Business Continuity Management (BCM) projects, IT infrastructure, SAP Enterprise Resource Panning, Qatarization, and Corporate Social Responsibility. QAFAC is a firm believer in the importance of active citizenship and in investing in the local community.

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