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Modernisation of refineries in Kazakhstan

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Fears have grown over the continued ability to complete the modernisation project of the Shymkent refinery in Kazakhstan if current oil prices don’t stabilise. Proudction Director of PetroKazakhstan Oil Products, Bolat Baetov said that as a result of falling oil prices to US$40 a bbl, all countries that depend on oil revenues will need to revise their budget.

In November, the Kazakh Energy Minister, Vladimir Shkolnik, said that he won’t rule out the possibility of postponing the modernisation of the Pavlodar and Shymkent refineries due to funding problems.

However these fears are yet to materialise into real problems, Baetov said that the project is still being implemented on schedule and all of the planned work has been completed on time. The modernisation of the Shymkent refinery consists of two stages. The first stage involves the reconstruction of the diesel hydrotreater unit, construction of a sulfur production unit, which have already been completed, and the construction of an isomerisation unit. The second phase of the modernisation is scheduled for completion in 2017.

The total cost of the project for modernisation of Shymkent refinery is US$1.829 billion. The implementation of the project will increase the plant’s processing capacity from 5.25 million t to 6 million t, and increase the production of light oil products, from 61 - 89%. The improvements will bring the quality of products in line with Euro-3 standards and reduce the volume of wastewater, according to the statement from Shymkent refinery.

However Skymkent is not the only refinery undergoing major works. Two other refineries operate in Kazakhstan: Atyrau and Pavlodar. All plants are currently undergoing a series of modernisation projects. As a result of the modernisation of these refineries, the manufacturing of light oil products will increase in Kazakhstan: high-octane gasoline and aviation fuel will double in output, and diesel fuel output will increaseby 20%. All products will comply with the environmental requirements of the K4, K5 classes of the Technical Regulations of the Customs Union (K4, K5 are analogous to the European standards Euro-4 and Euro-5, approved in the countries of the Customs Union).

Previously, KazMunaiGas - Processing and Marketing JSC reported that the modernisation of these three major Kazakh oil refineries will provide domestic markets of Kazakhstan with its own petroleum products (fuel and lubricants) up to 2023- 2025.

In 2014, Kazakh oil refineries produced 3.020 million t of motor fuel (gasoline, including aviation), a 10% increase on the previous year.

Sources: Azer News, Trend

Edited from various sources by Francesca Brindle

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