Africa Petrochemical News
Dow, Libya's NOC Team Up
by AFX News Limited
April 18, 2007
A petrochemical complex in Libya will be expanded and operated by a
joint venture formed by Dow Chemical and Libya's state-owned National Oil Corp.,
the two companies announced Wednesday.
Dow Chemical Co. said it is the first global chemical company to take part
in the economic development of the petrochemical industry in Libya since the
north African nation embarked on a policy of attracting foreign expertise and
Last month, Gadhafi moved to open Libya's decrepit, closed economy to world
markets. Oil has made it the richest country in north Africa, but its hospitals,
schools and roads are in poor condition, unemployment is estimated to be as high
as 40 percent and more than one in six people live in poverty.
Enhancements at the Ras Lanuf petrochemical complex, built in the 1980s on
the Mediterranean coast, will position the joint venture for growth as a
world-class supplier of polyethylene and polypropylene, Dow said. The plastics
are used in the manufacture of everything from packaging materials to plastic
bottles to automobile interiors.
"We are very enthusiastic about the opportunity for Dow to participate in
this project with NOC and work together to invest in this dynamic part of the
world," Andrew Liveris, Dow Chemical's chairman and chief executive officer,
said in a jointly released written statement. "This venture is consistent with
Dow's strategy to grow its position in basic plastics and chemicals through
Midland, Mich.-based Dow Chemical initially will help upgrade and modernize
existing buildings and equipment at the Ras Lanuf site. Later phases will
include the construction of additional hydrocarbon, plastics and chemical
The upgrades and expansion will develop more high-skilled jobs in Libya and
stimulate investment in related industries, the two companies said.
"The partnership will bring a respected global company and its expertise
together with a proven national enterprise to upgrade and produce world-grade
products while enhancing the technical abilities of the Libyan work force," said
Shukri Ghanem, National Oil chairman.
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has made dramatic changes in his nation's
foreign policy in recent years. The U.S. government had long viewed Libya as a
terrorist-sponsoring adversary but resumed diplomatic relations after Gadhafi
agreed in 2003 to abandon his programs to develop weapons of mass destruction
and accepted responsibility for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over
Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people.
Copyright 2007 AFX News Limited. All Rights Reserved.
Ras Lanuf Refinery
National Oil Corp. of Libya (NOC)
Ras Lanuf Libyan Arab Jamahiriya