JGC to Design Kazakh Gas Separation Plant
Japan's JGC has secured a contract for the front-end engineering and design of a gas separation plant in Kazakhstan that will provide ethane for petrochemicals production, the company said on February 10.
The plant will receive up to 957mn ft3/day of gas from an adjacent facility run by the Chevron-led Tengizchevroil consortium (TCO) which operates Kazakhstan's largest producing oilfield Tengiz. The contract was awarded by KazMunayGas, a TCO member. In August, TCO signed an initial deal on the plant's development with Kazakhstan's state-owned United Chemical Co (UCC)
TCO took a final investment decision on an expansion at Tengiz in 2016 that will raise its oil output to around 780,000 barrels/day and increase gas production. But even before the Covid-19 crisis, the project's cost had ballooned from $37bn to over $45bn, and its launch delayed by a year until 2023.
The ethane will be supplied to a planned 1.25mn metric ton/year polyethylene production facility. The facility had been due to be developed jointly by UCC and Austria's Borealis, but the latter pulled out of the multi-billion dollar venture last May, citing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. UCC has said it will continue with the project alone, but is yet to take a final investment decision.
Like neighbouring Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan wants to exploit more of its gas to produce petrochemicals rather than exporting it, but it has had difficulty attracting investment into projects.