25 Feb 2010 14:59

Uzbekneftegaz to launch $221-mln propane-butane mix unit in Dec

TASHKENT. Feb 25 (Interfax) - Uzbekneftegaz will commission a unit costing $221 million to produce propane-butane mix at the Mubarek gas treatment works, which will enable Uzbekistan to double liquefied gas output and rank it among the world's major suppliers, in December, a senior source at the Uzbek national oil and gas company told Interfax.

Switzerland's Zeromax GmbH has entered the active phase of plant's construction, the source said.

The Frunze Machine Building Association from Sumy, Ukraine, should start delivering equipment in the second quarter and this will be installed in the second half of 2010.

Zeromax won a tender to build the plant, which will process an annual 12 billion cubic meters of natural gas and obtain up to 258,000 tonnes of liquefied gas and 125,000 tonnes of condensate, in 2009. More than 80% of the new plant's output will be exported.

The project is being funded by a China Development Bank loan of $85 million, an Uzbekistan Reconstruction and Development Bank loan of $55.4 million, Uzbekneftegaz itself - $30.3 million and local commercial bank loans - $50 million.

The project will not only benefit Uzbekistan economically: it will also enhance the quality of natural gas that the country exports.

Uzbekistan is the FSU's second biggest gas producing nation and one of the world's ten largest.