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Expansion of the methanol-to-olefins gas chemical complex in Uzbekistan

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Uzbekistan’s methanol-to-olefins (MTO) gas chemical complex, a leader in polymer production, has signed an industrial gas processing agreement with Air Products to build a methanol production facility. Known as 'Methanol Island', the facility would have a capacity of 1.34 million tpy as a part of the MTO gas chemical complex in Uzbekistan.

The facility, to be built in the Karakul Free Economic Zone situated in Uzbekistan’s Bukhara region, will cover 15 ha. It is planned to enter operation in 2025 for an expected operational life of 25 years.

Using innovative technologies, the complex (unlike traditional MTO facilities that use less environmental-friendly coal) is designed for deep processing of specific natural gas with a low content of valuable components into high-value polymer products with a production capacity of over 1.1 million tpy. The company will produce:

  • Polypropylene (250 000 tpy), used for the production of artificial fibres, electrical engineering and automotive components.
  • Low-density polyethylene (80 000 t/g), which is a raw material for the production of pipes, insulating materials, packaging and food films and moldings.
  • Ethylene vinyl acetate (100 000 tpy) used for the production of floor coverings, footwear and sports equipment.
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (300 000 t/g), which can also be used for the production of containers, films and synthetic fibres.
  • High-density polyethylene (280 000 t/g), used for the production of pipes and fittings, barrels, canisters for fuel, freezer containers, safety helmets, furniture fittings.

Local production will help Uzbekistan reach its goal of diversifying the economy, substitute imports and potentially export products to other regions.

The methanol facility would ensure the sustainable supply of methanol, hydrogen and other industrial gases such as oxygen and nitrogen, which are essential for the complex’s production processes.

Masrur Shakirov, General Director of the Gas Chemical Complex MTO, said: “We are delighted to be working with Air Products, the world’s leading industrial gases company, as partners in the complex. Air Products has established itself as a reliable supplier of proven solutions that can guarantee us both the high quality and required volume of products we need. Air Products’ investments highlight the degree of interest shown by international companies in Uzbekistan’s industrial development opportunities.”

The official signing ceremony was held in Tashkent City Congress Hall.

When completed, the Methanol Island facilities would include the following areas:

  • A Hydrogen Unit and an Air Separation unit which would produce mainly hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen.
  • A Methanol unit for synthesis gas (syngas) production and its further conversion into methanol. The process is based on Topsoe technology.

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