Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan to be petchem export players: researchers

02 January 2014 16:23  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The construction of world-scale production complexes will make Central Asia's two most industrialised countries, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, net exporters of petrochemicals within five years, a market research consultancy said on Thursday.

Central Asia is a rapidly evolving and growing market for petrochemicals that has been heavily import dependent in recent years,” Business Monitor International (BMI) said, introducing its Kazakhstan & Uzbekistan Petrochemicals Report 2014.

“Over the medium term... Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are set to become net exporters with the construction of world-scale complexes likely to stimulate downstream investment in plastic and rubber conversion industries,” it added.

In September last year Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries (KPI) announced that initial construction work had begun on its planned $6bn (€4.4bn) ethane-fuelled petrochemical complex outside Atyrau, near the KazMunayGas refinery in western Kazakhstan.

Although landlocked, and hence faced with considerable transportation costs for energy exports, Uzbekistan is also making substantial moves into petrochemical production, BMI said.

“Realising the immense potential that lies in refining, petrochemistry and other value-added projects, the [Uzbekistan] government has set forth major development plans,” it added, citing the creation of a 50:50 joint venture between South Korea's KOGAS and UzbekNeftegaz, to construct the Ustyurt gas-chemicals complex.

The KPI complex is to have an 800,000 tonne/year ethane cracker, and a 500,000 tonne/year propane dehydrogenation (PDH) and a 500,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) plant by 2015, while the second stage of the project, due for completion in 2017, should include production plants with capacities for 1m tonnes/year of ethylene, 400,000 tonnes/year of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and 400,000 tonnes/year of linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), BMI said.

Uzbekistan's Ustyurt gas-chemicals complex, the construction of which began in 2011, should by 2016 have capacities for 400,000 tonnes/year of polyethylene (PE) and 100,000 tonnes/year of PP, it added.

This should be followed by a separate Uzbek-Singaporean-Chinese joint venture with the capacity to produce 500,000 tonnes/year of PE and an Uzbek-Chinese joint venture to create a 100,000 tonne/year polyvinyl chloride (PVC) complex in 2016-17, the consultancy said.

($1 = €0.73)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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