Uzbekistan lets contract for ethylene expansion

JSC Uzneftegazdobycha subsidiary Shurtan Gas Chemical Complex LLC (SGCC) has let a contract to CB&I, Houston, to provide technology licensing for a grassroots ethylene plant to be built at SGCC’s existing Shurtan petrochemical complex in the Guzar district of southern Uzbekistan’s Kashkadarya region.

The scope of work includes licensing and basic engineering of the new plant, which alongside four of CB&I’s most recent-generation Lummus short-time residence (SRT-VII) pyrolysis heaters, will include a hexene-1 unit and polypropylene unit, the service provider said.

The hexene-1 unit will be based on CB&I’s branded comonomer production technology (CPT) to produce hexene-1 from a feedstock of low-cost C4 raffinate, while the polypropylene unit will use its proprietary Novolen gas-phase process technology to produce a range of polypropylene products.

CB&I disclosed neither the value nor duration of the contract.

Uzbekistan previously let contract to Lummus Technology, now a division of CB&I, to license its SRT VI heater technology for SGCC’s existing 140,000-tonne/year ethylene plant at the Shurtan complex (OGJ Online, Aug. 20, 2001; OGJ, Aug. 24, 1998, Newsletter).

Uzneftegazdobycha is a subsidiary of state-owned National Holding Co. (NHC) Uzbekneftegaz.

Concurrent projects

While details regarding the capacity of SGCC’s new ethylene plant remain unavailable, the newly proposed project follows Uzbekistan’s February announcement that it will expand polyethylene production capacity at the Shurtan complex as part of NHC Uzbekneftegaz’s decision to complete subsidiary Uzbekistan GTL LLC's long-planned Oltin Yo’l gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant, also located at Shurtan (OGJ Online, Dec. 14, 2011).

Scheduled for completion during fourth-quarter 2020, SGCC’s proposed Shurtan polyethylene expansion will increase the complex’s current 125,000-tpy polyethylene production capacity to 450,000 tpy from synthetic naphtha produced at the Oltin Yo’l GTL plant, according to a Feb. 24 release from the office of Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

Currently under construction and due to be completed in second-half 2020, the Oltin Yo’l GTL plant will process about 3.6 billion cu m/year of methane-rich natural gas into 1.5 million tpy of Euro 5-quality synthetic fuels, including 743,000 tpy of diesel, 311,000 tpy of kerosine, 431,000 tpy of naphtha, and 21,000 tpy of LPG, Mirziyoyev said.

In May, China Development Bank issued a $1.2-billion loan to NHC Uzbekneftegaz to finance the GTL plant’s construction, according to Uzbekistan GTL.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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