Uzbekistan’s first gas-to-liquids project, worth $3.6 billion, has entered its final stage after delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Uzbekistan GTL, the project’s operator, said.
The construction of the facility, aimed at reducing the Central Asian’s country’s reliance on imported fuel, started in Uzbekistan’s Kashkadarya region in 2017.
The project will allow Uzbekistan to use its large natural gas reserves to produce more fuels such as diesel, which it currently imports due to declining crude oil output and insufficient refinery capacity.
Overall implementation of planned works currently stands at 95.3 percent and the commissioning of production facilities is now scheduled for the second half of this year, the project’s operator said in a statement.
The project was expected to be completed in 2020, but construction work stopped after rising numbers of COVID-19 infections prompted the evacuation of thousands of workers.
“When completed, the Uzbekistan GTL will bring Uzbekistan a step closer to achieving energy independence and demonstrate the success of our petrochemical growth strategy, which consists of expanding our activities from competitively located feedstock … to taking advantage of the growing global demand in plastics and clean fuels,” Fakhritdin Abdurasulov, the company’s director, said.
When brought to full capacity, the GTL plant is set to process about 3.6 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas, produced at the Shurtan field and purified at a nearby gas chemical facility, operated by state-owned oil and gas producer Uzbekneftegaz.
The gas pipeline from the Shurtan Gas Chemical Complex to the GTL plant has been completed and is fully operational, GTL said.
The operator said that it expected the plant to produce about 3.4 million barrels of jet kerosene, diesel fuel and naphtha before the end of this year, from between 1.5 billion and 1.6 bcm of natural gas to be supplied by Uzbekneftegaz, GTL’s parent company, according to news agency Upstream.
The GTL complex, the fifth facility of its kind in the world, will comprise four main sections – plants for supplying energy resources, unit for production of syngas, and units for production of synthesis liquid and product refinement.
The project is being implemented within the framework of the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract, concluded on a turnkey basis with a consortium of companies, including South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering Co., Ltd., Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd and Singapore-based Enter Engineering Pte Ltd.