Kazakhstan building new major PP production facility

By: Richard Higgs

May 6, 2014

Kazakhstan is set to construct a major petrochemicals complex in the Atyrau region that is designed to produce up to 800,000 metric tons of polypropylene per year starting in 2016.

The 4.5 billion euro ($6.2 billion) project was ordered by the Kazakh government to increase the productive use of associated petroleum gas, much of it currently flared off.  The complex will be located close to one of Kazakhstan’s main oil fields, Tengiz, which will become the site’s key feedstock source, according to the country’s state owned oil producer KazMunaiGaz.

Due for completion in 2016, the first two stages of the complex will demand seven billion cubic meters per year of feedstock gas and have a 500,000 million metric ton per year propylene capacity as well as the polypropylene, according to Raushan Sarmurzina, executive secretary of KazMunaiGaz’s Council on Science and Technology.

A third complex stage, planned for 2016, is set to produce butadiene using feedstock from two other major Kazakh oil fields,  Karachaganak in the country’s north west and Kashagan field in the Caspian Sea. But this phase may not be finished till 2018 because of start up delays at Kashagan, she told the CIS Oil and Gas summit in Paris.

Meanwhile, the South Korean petrochemical firm LG Chem is also said to be planning to build an ethylene production plant in Atyrau. The company will construct it along with two Kazakh firms and production is also due to begin in 2016.