Deep processing of natural gas is much more profitable for Uzbekistan than its exporting, the chairman of Uztransgaz, Ulugbek Sayidov told Gazeta.uz in an interview.
According to him, today, due to the announcement of quarantine due to coronavirus, China has temporarily reduced the import of natural gas, including from Uzbekistan.
Now the gas market is very volatile/ We all know well how much gas costs in Europe,. Given its netback price, we will be well off to use our gas in the domestic market. The president called on the energy sector senior officials to consider the issues of selling raw materials in the domestic market in order to obtain value-added products, he said.
According to preliminary estimates, one of the promising areas today is the MTO technology (methanol to olefins). This technology allows to produce polymers, which will add about three times value than the natural gas, said Ulugbek Sayidov.
“For Uzbekistan’s energy sector, the production and sale of polymers is not something new, the first project was implemented 20 years ago and options for its implementation have already been worked out. In terms of transportation flexibility, polymers are the best option for gas monetization, ”said the head of Uztransgaz.
In March 2019, Uzbekneftegaz and American Air Products signed a joint venture agreement for technical gases production unit. We are also negotiating with this company the implementation of the project of the MTO Gas Chemical Complex.
He added that more petrochemical projects were being considered to be implemented to 2025.
Uztransgaz supplies about 40 billion cubic meters of gas to the domestic market. In addition about 6 BCM of Turkmen gas is transported to Russia through Kazakhstan.
About 35–38 billion cubic meters of gas are transported through the Asia Trans Gas joint venture (between the Chinese TAPLINE CNPC and Uzbekneftegaz), which controls the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas transmission system.
According to Ulugbek Sayidov, in the framework of the signed gas supply contracts in 2020, it is planned to export about 2-6 BCM to China, about 60 MCM to Kyrgyzstan, and 200 MCM to Tajikistan.
The other day, Chinese authorities sent notification to suppliers saying it was temporarily limiting the import of natural gas due to the spread of coronavirus.
For the first time, plans to stop gas exports were announced by the PM Abdulla Aripov. He noted that by 2025 measures will be taken to stop the export of natural gas and its full processing inside the country.