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Monday 23 July 2012

Uzbekistan Launches $4 bn GTL Joint Project with Sasol


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(AFP) – Uzbekistan and South Africa’s Sasol, a world leader in gas-to-liquids (GTL) production, together with Malaysian Petronas launched Monday the infrastructure construction of a new GTL plant.

The ceremony marked the launch of the construction of the infrastructure required for the GTL plant – such as water and electricity supplies – not the construction of the plant itself, which will start from next year.

South Africa’s Sasol, Malaysia’s Petronas and Uzbekneftegaz announced in April 2007 that they had formed a partnership to construct a 34,000 b/d GTL plant in Uzbekistan, using Sasol technology, based on the same-size Oryx GTL plant that started production in 2007 in Qatar. The announcement followed the conclusion of a joint pre-feasibility study.

The motivation for oil-poor but gas-rich Uzbekistan is that it would gain increased security of supply in transport fuel and other oil products through the construction of the plant. In 2010, Uzbekistan produced 87,000 b/d of oil, according to BP’s 2011 Statistical Review of World Energy, but consumed 104,000 b/d, making the country a net importer for the first time since 1994. The envisaged GTL plant would represent a 39% addition to national oil production based on 2010 output.

The total cost of the project is around $4 billion and it is the first such a high-tech plant on the Eurasian continent, Uzbekistan’s Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyaev (شوکت میرزایف) said during the launch ceremony. Once completed, it will reprocess 3.5 billion m³ of gas annually, producing $1.5 billion worth products including diesel and jet fuels, naphta and liquefied gas.

The GTL plant, situated outside the town of Qarshi in southern Uzbekistan, will also improve the quality of the fuel pool, reducing emissions, thereby securing the associated environmental benefits, according to Constable.

The joint project GTL Uzbekistan, where Sasol and Uzbekistan’s state oil company Uzbekneftgas each hold 44.5% interest, and the rest 11% belonging to Malaysian Petronas, was founded in 2009. The plant will be built on the basis of the Shurtan gas and chemical complex in Qashqadaryo province.

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