The Business Year

HE Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada

QATAR - Energy & Mining

Strong Assets

Minister of Energy and Industry, Qatar


Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada was appointed Minister of Energy and Industry on January 18, 2011, and was later named Managing Director and Chairman of the Board of Qatar Petroleum on February 14, 2011. Prior to this, he was the Minister of State for Energy & Industrial Affairs since 2007, previously having served as the Managing Director of RasGas. He has over 28 years of experience of service with Qatar Petroleum, managing various corporate departments. He is also currently chairman at several companies, including RasGas, Qatargas, Qatar Chemical Company Ltd., Qatar International Petroleum Marketing Company Ltd., Qatar Petroleum International and ASTAD Project Management, Industries Qatar, and Gulf International Services. He is also Vice-Chairman of the Board at Qatar Steel Company. He holds a PhD from the University of Manchester’s Institute of Science and Technology, having earlier graduated in Marine Science and Geology from Qatar University.

What have been some of the ministry’s major achievements in recent years? Qatar’s Ministry of Energy and Industry’s work is focused on two main areas: utilizing Qatar’s energy resources and […]

What have been some of the ministry’s major achievements in recent years?

Qatar’s Ministry of Energy and Industry’s work is focused on two main areas: utilizing Qatar’s energy resources and diversifying sources of income by widening the country’s industrial base. These elements lie at the heart of the State of Qatar’s industrial strategy. To meet this, the Ministry of Energy and Industry is implementing robust plans to develop and capitalize on our hydrocarbon wealth and to raise the export value of our growing industrial sector. Qatar’s industrial sector celebrated a major milestone in 2011 with the inauguration of Pearl GTL, the world’s largest gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant, at Ras Laffan Industrial City. A joint venture of Qatar Petroleum (QP) and Shell, Pearl GTL represents the world’s first realization of GTL technology applied on a global basis and has the capacity to produce 140,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of GTL products. Besides Pearl GTL, we are building the strategic multi-faceted Barzan gas project. Expected to be fully operational by 2014, this project will help meet the country’s future needs for clean burning natural gas in the power and water sectors, and provide feedstock to the country’s petrochemical and refining industries. Another important development is the construction of the second Laffan condensate refinery, which will double the facility’s total installed condensate refining capacity to about 300,000 bbl/d when it comes online in 2016. This will make it one of the largest single site facilities for condensate refining in the world. The new refinery will meet the long-term needs of the local and export markets, and pave the way to further optimize our condensate processing, create new opportunities, and enhance our refining and export capacities. Qatar’s economic and industrial diversification is further boosted by the inauguration of another addition to the petrochemical industry with the completion of the QAFCO-5 project, which is the world’s largest single-site producer of ammonia and urea. Continued progress in achieving diversity in the industrial sector also saw the opening of one of the largest-ever aluminum smelters to be built in one phase. Qatalum celebrated another ambitious energy project in Qatar, with a state-of-the-art facility that includes a carbon plant and a casthouse, producing value-added aluminum products, such as extrusion ingots, foundry alloys, and standard ingots that meet the most stringent quality standards of the global market.

One of the main pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030 is environmental development. What steps is the Ministry taking in order to achieve this?

The State of Qatar, through its industrial strategy, aims to contribute to the protection of the global environment pursuant to the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, and to international economic stability by securing sizeable, long-term supplies of cleaner energy from liquefied natural gas. Qatar has recently joined the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction Program. We have carried out a major flaring reduction initiative at our Al-Shaheen oil field, registered under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism. This project will generate some 2.5 million credits of Certified Emission Reductions per year. Furthermore, the Al-Karkara Oil Field—the latest oil field to be developed in Qatar—is the first in the country to be zero gas flaring. It is worth mentioning that QP is active in the State Climate Change Policy Formulation and Coordination Committee. This committee was established in 2007 by HH the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. QP’s representation on this committee helps it to provide direct input into domestic policy discussions, and the ability to influence the formulation of negotiating positions in international forums. We have adopted a number of initiatives to achieve the environmental goals of Qatar National Vision 2030, including the establishment of a Corporate HSE & Sustainable Development Directorate reporting directly to QP’s Managing Director. This was an important move to stress the significance of the protection of the environment and the safety of QP’s human and material assets. In addition, we have implemented HSE Management Systems (ISO-14001 & 18001) in all QP Business units. Qatar Petroleum has established a R&D program at Qatar Science & Technology Park focused on many facets of its businesses, with environmental protection and sustainable development taking the lion’s share of the proposed program. The Ministry of Energy and Industry has demonstrated a strong commitment to protecting the environment, be it in the environmental prerequisites of obtaining industrial licenses, or in the monitoring of industrial projects and their adherence to the requirements of environmental protection.

How would you characterize the non-oil potential of Qatar’s industries?

We believe that small- and medium-scale industries are essential tools to diversify and redistribute the country’s sources of wealth and to lessen dependence on hydrocarbon resources. In this context, the State of Qatar offers several incentives and facilities to industrial projects including soft loans at highly competitive rates, terms, and repayment periods through Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and bank associates, as well as the use of our ultra-modern and fully serviced industrial estates. In 2011, the output of the various non-oil-non-gas (NONG) sectors grew at a steady pace, contributing almost 26% of total GDP growth at current prices. In terms of their relative importance, the finance, insurance, real estate, and business services sectors have kept the lead among other NONG sectors, with a share reaching 27.5% in 2011, and a rapid growth rate surging to 18.2% compared to 6.9% in 2010.

One of the main challenges in many oil rich countries is the transition from a resource-based to a knowledge-based economy. What efforts is the ministry making in order to promote this and to what extent does QP strive to achieve this?

In resource-based economies, abundant natural resources help governments maintain high living standards, strive toward human development, and ensure the nation’s prosperity. In Qatar, we are harnessing our hydrocarbon resources and utilizing this economic wealth to help create a conducive environment for a sustainable knowledge-based economy. We have adopted a national development strategy focused on economic diversification that should position the non-hydrocarbon sector as the co-driver of future GDP growth; thus, paving the way for the development of a knowledge-based economy. Education and research play a decisive role in our efforts. This is why Qatar has invested time and resources in trying to create a world-class education system. The oil and gas industry in Qatar has supported this by promoting the National Research & Development programs of the universities in Qatar and linking them to the needs of the industry. Qatar has also instituted Education City and the Qatar Science and Technology Park, which offer a host of incentives for international investors in high-priority areas like R&D, knowledge transfer, and technology advancement. QP has spearheaded the development and growth of Qatar’s economy for decades through a highly successful investment program in hydrocarbons. We will continue to play a central role in this effort, as well as in the effort to create a strong, diversified, and sustainable national economy. Our main purpose is very clear; to convert Qatar’s hydrocarbon resources into a stream of healthy cash-flow, which could support Qatar’s further development and develop the nation into a sustainable and knowledge based economy.



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