Kazakhstan nearing completion of Atyrau project

July 5, 2021

Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries Inc. (KPI) LLP has reached nearly 90% completion of its long-planned integrated gas-to-chemicals complex (IGCC) under construction at the National Industrial Petrochemical Technopark in Kazakhstan’s western Atyrau region (OGJ Online, Dec. 11, 2017).

As of early June, construction activities on the first $2.6-billion phase of the IGCC were 87.19% completed, KPI and the office of Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister Askar Mamin said in separate releases.

While construction works on main processing plants and offsite installations—including metal structures, mechanical equipment, process pipelines, and tanks—remains in progress, laying of concrete foundations and installation of underground pipelines is now complete, as is construction of the site’s related transportation infrastructure, which included 11.6 km of railway and 4 km of roads, according to the operator.

Scheduled to reach mechanical completion in October for official commissioning and startup during first-quarter 2022, KPI confirmed Phase 1 of the IGCC will include a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit equipped with Lummus Technology LLC’s proprietary CATOFIN process to convert 629,000 tpy of propane from Tengiz oil field into propylene feedstock for the complex’s associated polypropylene (PP) plant that will use Lummus Novolen Technology GMBH process technology to produce 500,000 tpy of PP for supply to domestic and export markets (OGJ Online, Apr. 13, 2011).

A second phase planned for the IGCC—which will be Kazakhstan’s first integrated petrochemical complex—will involve building a gas separation plant that will supply ethane to a proposed 1.25-million tpy polyethylene plant to be built at the site, JSC National Co. KazMunayGas (KMG)—trust manager of KPI since June 2018—said in its latest annual report to investors.

While KMG and KPI let a contract to JGC Holding Corp. earlier this year to deliver front-end engineering design (FEED) on the IGCC’s proposed 957-MMcfd gas separation plant that would be located adjacent to a similar plant operated by Tengizchevroil as part of its development of Tengiz field, neither trustee nor operator has revealed a specific timeframe for when they will take final investment decision on the project’s Phase 2 plan (OGJ Online, Feb. 10, 2021).

On June 4, however, KMG did inform investors it entered trilateral agreement with JSC National Welfare Fund Samruk-Kaznya—holder of 90.42 interest in KMG—and PJSC Sibur Holding, under which the parties are considering the possibility of Sibur’s participation as a partner in the Atyrau IGCC.

Upon signing the June 3 agreement, Alik Aidarbayev, chairman of KMG’s board, said KMG would take all necessary measures to support Sibur becoming a reliable partner necessary to fully implement the IGCC.

With FEED for IGCC’s Phase 2 now completed, advancement of the project’s second-phase polyethylene development program is awaiting a Sibur study on its economic efficiency, which is due by yearend 2021, KMG said.

Separately, Mamin’s office confirmed that Kazakh-French joint venture Air Liquide Karabatan Tech Gases LLP in April completed construction of its plant for production of nitrogen and compressed dry air. The plant will produce 8,000 cu m/hr of nitrogen and 8,100 cu m/hr of compressed dry air, both of which are necessary for the IGCC’s production of PP, the ministry said.