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Korean Kogas Increases Share in Uzbek JV

Wednesday 22 February 2012

TASHKENT (Trend News Agency) – South Korean Kogas increased its share in JV Uz-Kor GasChemical, construction operator of the Ustyurt gas and chemical complex (GCC) in north-west Uzbekistan, from 17.5% to 22.5%, the company said on Wednesday.

In February 2008, Uzbekneftegaz and the South Korean consortium including KOGAS, Lotte Daesan Petrochemical Corp. (35%), LG International Corp., SK Gas and STX Energy (10% each) created a new joint venture UzKorGasChemical to construct Ustyurt GCC.

In 2009 Lotte withdrew from the consortium by transferring its assets to Honam Petrochemical In 2011, LG International and SK Gas also took a decision to withdraw from a consortium. The reasons for withdrawal are not known.

According to Kogas, the company will spend about US $320 million on purchasing the assets of these consortium shareholders which is currently represented by KOGAS and the Honam Petrochemical Corp, having 45% each and STX Energy which has10%. The share of Kogas in JV Uz-Kor GasChemical will increase as a result of the deal to 22.5%, Honam is 22.5% and of STX Energy will be five percent. Uzbekneftegas will retain its 50% share in JV.

As reported earlier, Uz-Kor GasChemical, ADB, KEXIM and KSURE completed the key terms of financing of the new complex on the Surgil gas deposit. The official launch ceremony at Ustyurt took place in August 2011.

Also in August 2011, the Korean Samsung Engineering, GS Engineering, Hyundai Engineering and Kogas signed four separate contracts with Uzbekneftegaz and Uz-Kor GasChemical for engineering, procurement and construction of Ustyurt GCC worth $2.6 billion.

Contracts for engineering, procurement and construction of Ustyurt GCC with GS Engineering & Construction, Samsung Engineering, Hyundai Engineering and the Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) were also signed. The construction of the technological part is projected to start in 2012.

The Uzbek leadership approved a scheme to finance the project worth $4.03 billion. The project will be backed by the founders Uz-Kor GasChemical LLC which are the National Holding Company (NHC) and a consortium of various Korean companies putting in $705.43 million each, as well as loan of $100 million from the Fund for Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan (FRDU).

In addition, Uz-Kor GasChemical will attract loans from international financial institutions, foreign commercial banks under guarantees. Also there will be nsurance coverage from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Korea Eximbank (KEXIM), the Korean state-trading Insurance Corporation (KSURE) and other export -import agencies and international financial institutions on the basis of project funding of $2.520 billion (62.5% of the total estimated cost of the project).

It is planned that the GCC will annually process 4.5 billion m³ of natural gas and up to 4 billion m³ of marketable gas, 400,000 tons of polyethylene of different density, 100,000 tons of polypropylene and about 100,000 tons of pyrolysis gasoline.

The resource base of the project is with the fields of Surgil, East Berdah – Uchsay and Northern Berdah. The largest of them, Surgil was opened just over two years ago and is currently being developed by Uzbekneftegaz. According to unconfirmed reports its reserves stand at around 120 billion m³ of natural gas.

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