They were given a detailed update on the construction and operation of the MTO (methanol-to-olefin) based gas-chemical complex located in Karakul, in the Bukhara region of Uzbekistan.
The $2.5-billion project is expected to commence operations in the 4th quarter of 2023 and will provide Uzbekistan’s domestic industry with olefinic hydrocarbons, a vital raw material for the country.
The MTO technology, which is core to the project, has no direct competitors in the CIS region.
When complete, the complex will greatly accelerate Uzbekistan’s import substitution, economic diversification, and also the development of related domestic industries.
To facilitate economic growth, a Free Economic Zone (FEZ) has been established in the Karakul area, attracting domestic and foreign producers with tax exemptions and permission to conduct business in foreign currencies.
Uninterrupted energy supply, partly from renewable sources, is guaranteed.
Industrial development in the FEZ is estimated to create more than 2 300 new jobs and generate more than $2 billion in additional tax revenues over the next 20 years.
Energy Minister of Uzbekistan, said:
- Uzbekistan is confidently following the path of expanding capacities for deep processing of natural gas, which will allow even deeper diversification of the country's economy
- And the new petrochemical plant using MTO technology is a prime example
- The export of gas as a cheap raw material is replaced by the creation of products with high added value through deep processing of hydrocarbon raw materials
- The creation of such products on the basis of domestic natural gas will not only meet the needs of the country, but also significantly increase the flow of currency to Uzbekistan in comparison with raw material exports
The facility will produce diverse products from the core inputs of ethylene and propylene, which will substitute various raw materials currently being imported, and contribute significantly to Uzbekistan’s economic growth.
Over 70% of the plant’s production will be sold on the domestic market, enabling Uzbekistan’s industry to satisfy domestic demand and also export various raw materials to CIS countries, China, Turkey and South-East Asian nations.