Qatar Petroleum International, a unit of the emirate’s state-run oil company, plans to build two petrochemical plants costing about $9.8 billion in Asia by 2015 to tap demand in the world’s fastest-growing region.

Qatar will partner Cnooc Ltd. and a Chinese petrochemicals maker to construct a $5.8 billion plant in China’s Hainan province, Chief Executive Officer Nasser al-Jaidah said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday. Another project in Vietnam will cost as much as $4 billion and both ventures will use Qatari liquefied petroleum gas to produce chemicals, he said.

“There is huge potential for growth in Asia, especially China,” al-Jaidah said. “We can hit two birds with one stone — tap the markets and exit our product,” he said, without disclosing Qatar’s share of investment in the venture.

The Middle Eastern country is investing in Asia as it seeks new markets for its LPG output that may double to 12 million metric tons by 2010. Qatar Petroleum International last week agreed to buy stakes in Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s two petrochemical ventures in Singapore. China National Offshore Oil Corp. agreed this month to purchase an additional 3 million tons of Qatari liquefied natural gas a year.

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