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Stop included meeting with U.S. business leaders and military troops

KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT - On Monday, November 14, 2005, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman toured the EQUATE petrochemical plant and met with U.S. business representatives while visiting Kuwait, as part of his trip through the Middle East.  The EQUATE petrochemical plant is a joint venture between Kuwait's Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC) and U.S. company Union Carbide, a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company.

"The EQUATE petrochemical plant is a wonderful example of international cooperation and investment. We are pleased that the joint venture between the Petrochemical Industries Company and Dow Chemical has been so successful," Secretary Bodman said.  "The U.S. government looks forward to working with our Kuwaiti counterparts to pave the path for additional U.S. business investment in Kuwait." 

The EQUATE joint venture is the country's largest petrochemical project.  Opened in 1997, the $2 billion industrial complex at Shuaiba produces polyethylene and ethylene glycol, primarily for export to Asia and Europe.  PIC and Union Carbide each have a 45 percent share in the project, with the remainder owned by Boubyan Petrochemical Company, a publicly traded Kuwaiti company. 

In addition to his discussions on ways to expand U.S. investment in Kuwait, Secretary Bodman also updated Kuwaiti officials on the hurricane recovery efforts in the Gulf of Mexico and thanked them for their support in the hurricanes' aftermath.  Secretary Bodman also outlined elements of the recently implemented U.S. Energy Policy Act and the impact the new law would have on U.S. energy policy.

While in Kuwait, Secretary Bodman met with Kuwaiti Energy Minister Shaykh Ahmad Fahd Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.  During the meeting, they discussed economic and legislative changes that could attract additional private sector investment to Kuwait.  They also discussed Kuwait's plans to form a Center for Strategic Studies to foster intellectual exchange and collaboration. 

Secretary Bodman also met with U.S. business representatives in Kuwait where they discussed short and long term goals and objectives, including increased economic and social development, continued trade expansion, incorporation of cutting-edge technology into economies, and the importance of market stability and predictability.  Prior to leaving Kuwait, Secretary Bodman and his delegation visited and thanked U.S. troops stationed at Arifjan.

Secretary Bodman arrived in Kuwait after visiting the United Arab Emirates.  He will also travel to Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Media contact(s):

Craig Stevens, 202/586-4940