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    Uzbekistan Advances Petchem Project


The plant will use 1.5bn m³/yr of domestic gas as its feedstock.

by: Joe Murphy

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Uzbekistan Advances Petchem Project

A Russian-Uzbek joint venture has got behind a plan to build a 500,000 mt/yr methanol-to-olefins (MTO) project in Uzbekistan.

Jizzakh Petroleum, a joint venture between Uzbekistan's national oil company Uzbekneftegaz and Gas Project Development Central Asia, a subsidiary of Russia's Gazprom, announced on September 1 it was now a major investor in the project, after a decision by Uzbekistan's cabinet of ministers.

"We aspire to create a world-class chemical company making great products for society, and this project is fully aligned with our vision," Jizzakh's general director Shokir Fayzullayev commented.

Uzbekistan is looking to build up its petrochemicals industry to convert more of its gas at home that it can export, rather than make low-value gas sales to China and Russia.

The plant in the Bukhara region will run on 1.5bn m3/yr of domestic gas feedstock. Its products are set to include low-density polyethylene, ethylene-vinyl acetate, polyethylene terephthalate and polypropylene. Some of these products will be exported while others will be used to replace imports in Uzbekistan's domestic textile, chemical and parapharmaceutical industries, Jizzakh said.

The project has an estimated cost of $2.8bn. Consulting and technical partners including IHS Markit, Nexant, and Amec Foster Wheeler (Wood) have carried out marketing analysis and feasibility studies for the project, Jizzakh said. The selection of a technology licensor is now at the final stage, and once completed a front-end engineering design study will be undertaken.

Mubarek plant completed

Uzbekistan has completed the construction of a fourth propane-butane mixture production unit at the Mubarek gas processing plant, its energy ministry said on September 2. The unit can process up to 3bn m3/yr of gas and produces 38,400 mt of liquid petroleum gas annually.

The $58.3mn project took three years to complete and was financed by Uzbekneftegaz. It has been launched on schedule despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the ministry said.