Uzbekistan's $4bn GTL plant kicks off

By bne IntelliNews July 24, 2012

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A joint venture between South Africa's Sasol, Malaysia's Petronas and state-owned Uzbekneftgas has kicked off construction of supporting infrastructure for a $4bn project to build a gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in gas-rich Uzbekistan.

Three years in planning, the two international companies signed off on a final JV agreement on GTL Uzbekistan with the state company on July 15, and will build the plant at the Shurtan gas and chemical complex in the Kashkadarya region of south Uzbekistan. They have immediately launched construction of water and power infrastructure.

Work on the facility itself, which will produce fuels including diesel and jet fuels, naphta and liquefied gas and is expected to cost $2.5bn, will be launched next year, although the only completion date offered thus far is the second half of the decade.

Sasol and Uzbekneftgas each hold a 44.5% stake, with Petronas holding the remainder. Uzbekneftegaz, will supply gas from the established Shurtan gasfields, and also signed an offtake agreement for the bulk of the production last year, with Uzbekistan currently forced to import significant volumes of transport fuel.

Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyaev claimed at the launch ceremony that the facility will be the first such a high-tech plant on the Eurasian continent. "Once completed, it will reprocess 3.5bn cubic metres of gas annually...producing $1.5bn worth products," he said, according to AFP.

"The project will help resource rich Uzbekistan to strengthen its energy self-sufficiency and diversify the utilisation of its domestic gas resources," Sasol president David Constable noted.

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