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Uzbekistan to develop a $2.5 billion gas-chemical complex by 2023


Uzbekistan to develop a $2.5 billion gas-chemical complex by 2023

Project details were revealed during the “Gas Chemical MTO Complex: Technologies of the New Uzbekistan” forum on November 16 in Tashkent – The Times of Central Asia

Alisher Sultanov, Uzbekistan’s Minister of Energy and Masrur Shakirov, MTO complex project director and deputy CEO of the founding company SEG revealed details about the construction and operation of the MTO (methanol-to-olefin) based gas-chemical complex located in Karakul, in the Bukhara region of Uzbekistan. Representatives of Wood Italiana, the company responsible for the design complex were also present during the event.

Plans are in place for the $2.5-billion project to commence operations in the fourth quarter of 2023 in order to provide Uzbekistan’s domestic industry with olefinic hydrocarbons, an important raw material for the country. It is expected that the complex will greatly accelerate Uzbekistan’s import substitution, economic diversification, and stimulate the development of related domestic industries.

A Free Economic Zone (FEZ) has been established in the Karakul area in order to facilitate economic growth by attracting domestic and foreign producers with tax exemptions and permission to conduct business in foreign currencies. Industrial development in the Karakul FEZ is estimated to create more than 2,300 new jobs and generate more than $2 billion in additional tax revenues over a period of 20 years.

Alisher Sultanov, Uzbekistan's energy minister, notes that the export of gas as a cheap raw material is replaced by the creation of products with high added value through deep processing of hydrocarbon raw materials

The creation of such products on the basis of domestic natural gas will not only meet the needs of the country, but also significantly increase the flow of currency to Uzbekistan in comparison with raw material exports

Alisher Sultanov, Energy Minister of Uzbekistan

Masrur Shakirov, Deputy CEO of SEG and MTO Project Manager highlighted production of modern and unique petrochemical products that meet modern requirements as an opportunity to provide the population and sectors of the economy with strategically important raw materials. They will help with business development, but also act to accelerate economic growth, and increase the competitiveness of the Republic’s economy.

The complex will have a production capacity of 720,000 tons of finished polymer products from the core inputs of ethylene and propylene. This will be enough to fully satisfy domestic demand, but also export part of the plant’s production to other CIS countries, China, Turkey, and South-East Asian nations

Supported by the technology of Chemtex Global Corporation (China), the complec will produce polyethylenterephthalat (PET), a polymer used in the textile and food industries. One of its production inputs, monoethylene glycol, produced with the technology of the company Scientific Design Company Inc. (US), will fulfil demand for hydraulic fluids/solvents production, plus antifreeze.

In collaboration with Versalis S.p.A., subsidiary of Eni S.p.A. (Italy), the plant will produce low density polyethylene and ethylene vinyl acetate. Low density polyethylene is required by many industries, including agriculture, food and parapharmaceuticals, while ethylene vinyl is in high demand for the production of solar panels.

Polypropylene production will take place in collaboration with W. R. Grace & Co. (US), a world leader in this field. Polypropylene is a versatile and important raw material, used in the textile, parapharmaceuticals, electrical engineering, and automotive industries.

Mott MacDonald Group Limited (UK) will monitor and confirm the environmental standards compliance of the plant.

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