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Ras Laffan Industrial City (Arabic: راس لفان, romanized: Ra’s Lafān) is an industrial hub located 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Doha, Qatar. It is administrated by Qatar Petroleum.
Ras Laffan Industrial City is the Qatar’s main site for production of liquefied natural gas and gas-to-liquid. It hosts among others ORYX GTL and Pearl GTL plants, Qatargas and RasGas LNG plants, the Dolphin gas processing plant, the Laffan Refinery, and Ras Laffan A, B, and C integrated water and power plants. With an enclosed water area of approximately 4,500 hectares Ras Laffan Port is the largest artificial harbour in the world and contains the world’s largest LNG export facility.
Ras Laffan City, wholly owned by Qatar Petroleum (QP), began operations in 1996. It is mandated to provide infrastructure, facilities and services in the city to enable the establishment and functioning of industries to exploit the State of Qatar’s vast gas reserves in the North Field which lies 80 kilometres offshore Ras Laffan.
The North gas field of Qatar was discovered in 1971 and is currently the world’s largest single non-associated gas field. It spans over 6,000 square kilometres and proven reserves are estimated at approximately 900 trillion cubic feet (tcf).
Ras Laffan is situated along the northeast coast of Qatar overlooking the Arabian Gulf. Its strategic location at the centre of the Arabian Gulf, between the Far East and Europe on the international maritime shipping route, enables hydrocarbon products to be efficiently transported to markets all over the world. The City lies 70 kilometres from Doha; it is an hour’s drive on a modern highway that connects it to the commercial capital and the wider world.
Ras Laffan is developed and operated specifically for natural gas-based industries that produce gas products and their derivatives from natural gas produced in the North Field. RLC offers infrastructure, facilities and services in the industrial city with the aim of providing industries and other stakeholders an efficient and competitive business environment.
The industrial city’s facilities include a modern specialized hydrocarbons export port and land. In addition, it offers other world class facilities including utilities, cooling water, desalinated water, waste management, environment management, fire fighting and emergency response as well as support services such as healthcare, camp accommodation and telecommunications.
RLC also provides an oversight of the development and operation of all activities in the city, in particular in the area of health, safety and environment, in order to ensure sustainability and meet the needs of all stakeholders, industry, government, community and investors.
Ras Laffan Support Services Area
The Ras Laffan Support Services Area (RSSA) area is designated for industries that provide support services for oil and gas companies. Located on the west side of the industrial city, the RSSA is over three million square metres and offers an excellent investment opportunity for companies that provide support services to oil, gas and petrochemical companies. The RSSA includes residential complexes, a commercial complex, fire station, governmental agency offices, clinics and a light industrial park. The RSSA offers land leases of up to 15-year renewable periods, with plot sizes starting at 6,000 square metres.
Ras Laffan Emergency & Safety College (RLESC)
QP and the Ministry of Interior have established the Ras Laffan Emergency & Safety College (RLESC), the premier emergency and safety college in the Middle East.
Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), a member of the Texas A&M University System is the training provider. TEEX is internationally acclaimed in the area of advanced practical emergency and safety training.
The primary aim of RLESC is to train emergency and safety professionals in the following functional areas: oil, gas and petrochemical industries, marine, civil aviation, civil defence, industrial fire fighting, emergency medical services, hazardous materials, search and rescue, health and safety, emergency response, and driver training.
RLESC offers courses that are accredited by the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications (ProBoard). ProBoard is an internationally recognized professional certification entity for fire fighting curriculum. TEEX is a ProBoard accredited agency.
The American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT) has evaluated and recommended college credit for various TEEX/RLESC courses.
The Port of Ras Laffan
The Port of Ras Laffan has been purpose-built to meet the hydrocarbon exports of all the industries in the industrial city. Covering an area of 56 square kilometres, it is currently one of the largest hydrocarbons exporting ports in the world.
Facilities in the port include the following:
LNG Berths The Port of Ras Laffan has six LNG berths of which four are capable of receiving QMax vessels with a cargo capacity of 266,000 cubic metres, the largest of its kind in the industry. The other berths are capable of receiving QFlex and conventional LNG vessels which are 216,280 cubic metres and 145,000 cubic metres in capacity respectively.
Liquid Product Berths There are six berths that are currently operational. These berths are designed for products such as condensate, LPG, Pygas, GTL and refinery products. They are capable of handling vessels ranging in length from 160 to 345 metres respectively.
Sulphur Berth The port has one sulphur berth with the capability of handling vessels of up to 60,000 tonne displacement. The combined loading rate of the two shiploaders is 3,000 tons per hour.
Dry Cargo Berths Six berths are dedicated for dry cargo of which two offer RoRo facilities.
Offshore Support Vessel Berths The port has 14 berths with facilities for providing bunkers and fresh water. The berths are used for supply and support vessels servicing the offshore exploration and production activities
Offshore SPM’s (Single Point Moorings) Available are two SPMs located about 54 kilometres from the Port. These SPMs can accommodate vessels ranging from 85,000-320,000 DWT.
Erhama bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard The ultra-modern 110-hectare shipyard is establishing Ras Laffan as one of the world leaders in ship maintenance, repair and construction. The multi-billion dollar project is funded by QP/RLC and leased to Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine (N-KOM) to manage and operate the ship repair and construction sections. Key features of the shipyard include two large dry docks, a massive construction hall, re-fit hall, warehouse and administration buildings.
For more information, please visit the Industrial Cities website.
History of Ras Laffan
The earliest-known English text to describe Ras Laffan was in the 1890 book The Persian Gulf Pilot, published by the Britain Hydrographic Dept. It recounts only geographic features, inferring that the area was not settled at the time. In an early 1904 transcript of the Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia by John G. Lorimer, it is mentioned that a pearling bank known as Umm Al Shebh is found off the coast of Ras Laffan, although Lorimer provides no description of Ras Laffan itself.
As an industrial city, Ras Laffan was commissioned in 1996. The purpose of its founding was to host petrochemical facilities for the natural gas obtained North Field. The North Field, found in 1971, is the world’s biggest natural gas field, occupying an offshore area of roughly 6,000 square km; more than half the size of the State of Qatar. North Field contains over 900 trillion tcsf of recoverable gas.
Ras Laffan’s commission in 1996 marks the completion date for the city’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant to convert the natural gas obtained from North Field into LNG. At first, it was estimated that only 106 square km would be needed for industrial operations. However, in 2004, this figure was more than drastically increased, to 296 square km.
In March 2011, the city signed a memorandum of understanding with the Port of Rotterdam on the occasion of an official visit by Queen Beatrix to Qatar.
It was announced in May 2019 by Qatargas that the company’s Ras Laffan terminal received its 10,00th non-LNG related shipment.
Geography & environment
Ras Laffan is located at a very low elevation and has sandy soils. It is 50 miles (80 km) north of the capital Doha and 23 miles (37 km) southeast of Ras Rakan. There is a reef off the coast. Together with Fuwayrit, Ras Laffan accommodates approximately 30% of all sea turtle nests in Qatar. Roughly 17 hectares of mangroves are found off the coast of Ras Laffan.
In a 2010 survey of Ras Laffan’s coastal waters conducted by the Qatar Statistics Authority, it was found that its maximum depth was 12.5 meters (41 ft) and minimum depth was 5 meters (16 ft). Furthermore, the waters had an average pH of 8.05, a salinity of 46.94 psu, an average temperature of 24.6 °C and 6.86 mg/L of dissolved oxygen.
Laffan Environmental Society is an environmental NGO formed as a joint partnership between Qatar Petroleum Industrial Cities and several other large companies operating in Ras Laffan. It was established as a response to calls for improved environmental management in the area surrounding the city resulting from petrochemical processing
List of Companies in Ras Laffan
- Al Karanaa Petrochemical
- Al Khaleej Gas
- Al Sajeel Petrochemical
- Barzan Gas Co.
- Dolphin Energy
- Laffan Refinery
- Oryx GTL
- Pearl GTL
- Ras Girtas Power Co.
- Ras Laffan Olefins Co.
- Ras Laffan Power Co.
Currently, Ras Laffan accommodates three power generation and water desalination plants, abbreviated as Ras Laffan A, B, and C (also known as Ras Qartas Energy Plant). In 2014, Kahramaa announced a planned project which would see the desalination capacity of the plants increase from 35 million gallons of water per day to 65 million gallons per day. The project is set to begin in 2017.
In 1999, a plan was conceived of by Qatar Petroleum to construct a facility which would meet the water cooling requirements of Ras Laffan’s petrochemical industries. This project came to fruition with the launch of the facility’s inaugural phase in 2003 with an hourly production capacity of 308,000 cubic meters of seawater. By 2010, the two remaining phases were completed, increasing the hourly production capacity to 937,000 cubic meters of seawater.
In 2017, Qatargas and ExxonMobil launched the $10.4 billion Barzan Gas Project as a joint venture.
Ras Laffan Emergency & Safety College
Ras Laffan Emergency & Safety College is a training center for emergency professionals created to address the safety needs of the city’s industrial companies.
Ras Laffan Support Services Area
Companies providing support services to the petrochemicals in Ras Laffan have been based in the specially-designated Ras Laffan Support Services Area since its inauguration in March 2013. The area’s facilities consist of three large-scale workshops, a yard, and an administration building occupying an area of 46,600 square meters. Mainly, companies based in this area provide replacement and repair of damaged electrical and petrochemical-related equipment.
Port of Ras Laffan
The Port of Ras Laffan is the world’s biggest petrochemicals export port, taking up a grand total of 56 square km.The first time an LNG carrier docked in the port was in 1996. In 2015, the port had the capacity to dock 200 tankers annually.
Erhama bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard
Named after the legendary Arab pirate Rahmah ibn Jabir al-Jalahimah, the Erhama bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard occupies 110 hectares and is used by Nakilat Damen Shipyards Qatar.
The city is served by Ras Laffan Hospital, which is spread over 200,000 square meters and features four levels, including an underground level. The bed capacity is 118, with future plans to expand this with the addition of 100 beds. A mosque with a 400-worshiper capacity is also in the works. It has a 30-bed emergency building distributed over 6,000 square meters of the hospital. Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is responsible for overseeing the hospital’s financing.
One health clinic is in the city, and like the hospital, it too is financed by HMC.
Transport in Ras Laffan
Ras Laffan is connected with Al Khor City through Al Huwailah Link Road. In November 2014, the 16-km road was improved by increasing it from one lane to four lanes.