25 May 2023 19:47

Air Products to invest $1 bln in gas processing complex in Uzbekistan

TASHKENT. May 25 (Interfax) - Uzbekistan's Investment, Industry and Trade Ministry, Air Products of the United States and Uzbek state oil and gas holding Uzbekneftegaz have signed an investment agreement worth $1 billion to develop a natural gas-to-syngas processing facility in the country's Qashqadaryo Province, the ministry said.

The natural gas-to-syngas industrial complex is an integral part of Uzbekneftegaz's gas-to-liquid facility, producing 1.5 million tonnes per year of high value-add synthetic fuels for domestic use and potentially for export.

"This will enable Uzbekneftegaz to seamlessly produce low-cost, high-purity fuels that enable the Republic to meet its growing energy production and societal needs. We look forward to building on this long-term, sustainable partnership and are excited about future opportunities in Uzbekistan and the Central Asia region," said Air Products CEO Seifi Ghasemi.

The ministry said there were several advantages of using the American company's expertise in value-added production based on the advanced refining of natural gas at the GTL plant in Uzbekistan, such as enhanced efficiency and lower production costs and harmful emissions.

"Under the purchase agreement-which is fully aligned with Air Products' leading on-site business model-Air Products will acquire, own and operate two large-scale air separation units, two large-scale auto-thermal reforming units, and a hydrogen production unit within the Uzbekistan GTL complex and supply oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and syngas under a long-term, take-or-pay/fixed fee contract to UNG. UNG will supply the feedstock natural gas and utilities and offtake all products," the American company said.

The Uzbek Energy Ministry said Uzbekistan GTL was built between 2017 and 2021 using technology from South Africa's Sasol, Denmark's Haldor Topsoe and Chevron .

Overall project costs were $3.42 billion with financing from State China Development Bank, Export-Import Bank of Korea, Korea Trade Insurance Corporation K-SURE, Gazprombank , Eximbank of Russia, Russian export credit agency EXIAR, Credit Suisse, and MUFG, SMBC, Woori Bank and Mizuho. The general contractors were Hyundai Engineering Co., Ltd. and Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd of South Korea and Enter Engineering Pte. Ltd. of Singapore.

The plant is capable of processing 3.6 billion cubic meters of gas a year into 307,000 tonnes of aviation kerosene, 724,000 tonnes of diesel fuel, 437,000 tonnes of naphtha and 53,000 tonnes of liquefied gas. The plant can operate in five different modes and adapt volumes for those products for which bigger orders have been received