Olzhas Bektenov: rather than selling raw materials as gas, we produce polyethylene, which increases added value by 20 times

Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Olzhas Bektenov met with the heads of the world's largest oil and gas chemical companies – President of China Petrochemical Corporation (SINOPEC) Zhao Dong and Chairman of the Board of SIBUR LLC Mikhail Karisalov.

The key issue is the joint construction of the first integrated gas chemical complex for polyethylene production at a cost of about $7.7 billion and a capacity of 1.25 million tonnes per year, which will account for 1% of the world's total capacity. 

A tripartite protocol was signed during the meeting, officially finalising SINOPEC's entry into the project. The ownership structure of the plant is as follows: KazMunayGas 40%, SINOPEC 30%, SIBUR 30%.

Head of the Government emphasised the importance of the project due to its focus on the production of high value-added products. 

A gas separation complex (GSC) will be built at the Tengiz field to supply the "Polyethylene" project with feedstock (ethane). The capacity of the GSC is 9.1 billion m3 of dry gas processing per year, of which 1.6 million tonnes of ethane is expected to be produced. 

Ethane will be sent through the main pipeline from Tengiz to the Karabatan site (territory of FEZ NINT, Atyrau region), where the polyethylene plant will operate. 

It is planned to produce about 22 grades of polyethylene using American licence technologies of Chevron Phillips and Univation, 40% of which will be premium grade. A wide range of applications for both industrial and household purposes makes polyethylene the most popular polymer in the world. 

Polyethylene is used in the fields of medicine, prosthetics, defence, food industry, construction, space industry and others. This polymer is used in the production of a wide range of goods: from plastic wear-resistant pipes, construction materials, medicines, syringes, prostheses to bulletproof vests, clothing for astronauts and car parts. Target markets include Kazakhstan, CIS countries, China, Turkey and European countries. At the same time, for domestic consumption, the realisation price will be lower than the import price. 

"The Head of State has identified deep processing of hydrocarbons as one of the key areas of development of the oil and gas sector. The priority for our economy is high conversion production producing products with a rapid increase in added value in the technological chain with an export orientation. The added value between the initial feedstock ethane and the third conversion product polyethylene increases 20 times, from $80-90 to $1600-1800 per tonne. The Polyethylene project will certainly give a serious impetus to the development of both the manufacturing industry and the country's economy as a whole. According to experts' calculations, the contribution to the country's GDP by 2030 from the implementation of the project is estimated at approximately 1.2%," Olzhas Bektenov said. 

The construction of the plant is planned to be completed by 2029. During the construction period more than 8 thousand jobs will be created, during the operation period about 850 jobs will be created.

It was noted that the project is realised with the support of the Government. The plant will be built on the territory of a special economic zone with the provision of appropriate infrastructure and special tax regime. In this regard, Prime Minister emphasised the attention of the project participants to the need to maximise the use of local potential.

"We on the part of the state provide comprehensive support in the implementation of projects important for the country's economy. At the same time, we expect you to increase the share of local content. For this purpose, it is necessary to determine the list of goods and equipment that will be mandatorily purchased from domestic producers. Special attention should be paid to training of Kazakhstani specialists and transfer of competences. It is important for us to maximise the attraction of local personnel, including for management positions in the project. We count on a similar approach in the implementation of other joint projects," Prime Minister emphasised. 

Thus, in addition to the plant "Polyethylene" it is planned to build a gas separation complex and a trunk pipeline.

#Olzhas Bektenov #The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan #Manufacturing industry #Oil & Gas #President's instruction

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