Shale oil processing plant to be commissioned in Uzbekistan by 2016

Uzbekistan, Tashkent, May 16 / Trend, D. Azizov /

The National Holding Company (NHC) Uzbekneftegaz will commission a plant for processing shale oil from the Sangruntau deposit in the Navoi region (central part of Uzbekistan), the acting director general of UzLITIneftegaz JSC (Design Institute, part of Uzbekneftegaz), Ulugbek Saidov said during the Oil Gas Uzbekistan 2013 international exhibition on Thursday.

"A pre-feasibility study of the project has been prepared. The project should be approved by the end of the year in accordance with the schedule. Then, the holding company will proceed to develop the field and start the first phase of the plant's construction," Saidov said.

According to him, the first phase of the project (2014-2015) entails the construction of a complex for processing two million tons of shale oil per year. Over the next three years - in 2015-2018 - the processing capacity of the plant will increase to eight million tons of shale ore with production of up to one million tons of oil annually.

Saidov said the Russian Federal State Unitary Enterprise "Institute AEP" completed in October 2012 the development of a pre-construction shale processing plant project in the Sangruntau field for Uzbekneftegaz.

The project provides for the construction of eight units of solid heat carrier (UTT-3000) with processing capacity of one million slate a year each. In addition, due to the utilization of residual heat of shale oil and semi-coking gas, it is planned to produce electricity at the electric power plant with installed capacity of 120 megawatts.

Funding for the project with an estimated cost of $600 million will be funded through the equity of Uzbekneftegaz NHC, loans from the Fund for Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan and foreign borrowings.

Experts estimate that the expected reserves of shale oil in Uzbekistan amount to 47 billion tons, which are located at a depth of 600 meters. In particular, among these deposits are "Baysun", "Jam", "Urtabulak" "Sangruntau", "Aktau", "Uchkyr" "Kulbeshkak". In addition to the hydrocarbon component, there is also a wide range of non-ferrous and rare metals in significant quantities.

The output of diesel fraction from tar of shale of the Sangruntau deposit with reserves of 357 million tons equals nearly 30 percent, which is the highest figure among the country's major deposits of this type.

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