Uzbekistan is planning to establish a major gas chemical complex (GCC) at the heart of what will be Central Asia’s biggest technological cluster to supply polymers to more than 10 local plastics processing plants.
In a bid to take its energy sector to a new level, the former CIS state aims, with foreign assistance, to construct the new GCC which will have a 1.3 – 1.5 billion m3 gas processing capacity. It is scheduled to use the methanol to olefins (MTO) technology.
The cluster, using the methanol to olefins (MTO) technology, is expected to have a capacity to turn out up to 250 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) of polypropylene, 100ktpa of PET and ethylene vinyl acetate, 100–150ktpa of ethylene glycol and polyethylene and 100ktpa of ethylene-propylene elastomer.
The €3.85bn project, still in the early stages of planning, is being led by the country’s oil and gas industry state-owned holding Uzbekneftegaz.
“At present, Uzbekneftegaz jointly with foreign partners, has begun working out a project to create a technological cluster, building a modern gas chemical complex and developing related industries aimed at producing high added value products,” explained the company’s first deputy chairman Ulugbek Sayyidov.
Downstream of the €3bn GCC, the more than 10 plastics processing enterprises, set up on the basis of public-private partnership, are due to turn out up to 300ktpa of added value finished products, said the executive.
“Uzbekistan is ready to invest its own funds in 30% of the project and 70% will come from foreign investments, credits and loans,” stated Sayyidov.
More than half of the current investment in the Uzbek economy is spent on the country’s oil and gas sector. At the end of 2017, the volume of capital investment is reported to have reached around €3.11bn, of which €2.27bn represented foreign direct investment and loans.
Between January and April this year, Uzbekistan raised its natural gas production by 6.7% to 19.5 billion tonnes but produced almost 10% less oil with a figure of 249,700 tonnes.