Kazakhstan Expands Its Petrochemical Potential

The country is going to build nine new processing plants

Minister of Energy Nurlan Nogaev has announced five new petrochemical plants will be put into operation in Kazakhstan by 2025.

According to the official, the ministry is planning to prepare a national plan on petrochemical industry development this year. The task is to boost the petrochemical industry and make it even more attractive for foreign investors.

Three new factories will be built in the Atyrau region: a polypropylene production plant with the capacity of 500,000 tons of product per year; a technical gas production plant that will produce 57 million cubical meters of azote and 34 million cubical meters of dry compressed air, and a polyethylene-terephthalate plant with a capacity of 430,000 tons a year. 

Another polypropylene and fuel improvers plant will be opened in Shymkent. The new production will be linked with the Shymkent refinery, which will supply the raw material. Methanol- and glycol-producing plants with a joint capacity of 182,000 tons of product should also start operations in Uralsk.

«This project will allow us to further develop the industry and address its soft spots. In particular, we would be able to supply our future petrochemical projects with raw materials, create a whole cluster of petrochemicals, and reach deeper processing of oil and gas,» Nogayev said.

Also, the Kazakhstani government is going to develop a draft agreement between a potential investor and itself to make sure that the future petrochemical project meets the expectations of both sides.

«We are expecting that the volume of production will increase nine times to two million tons of petrochemical products with $3.9 billion of investments. The petrochemical industry will serve as a base for further deep processing of oil and gas, which is a good point in terms of our strategy to diversify the economy and make it more technologically sophisticated,» he said.

According to Nogaev, the production volume of petrochemical products has risen to 360,000 tons. In 2021 the plan is to produce about 400,000 with 80% of the products to be exported.

Currently, there are five petrochemical factories in Kazakhstan; they produce lubricants, polypropylene, methyl tert-butyl ether, benzol and paraxylol. However, even though their capacity is about 870,000 tons of products per year, currently they use just 41% of it and produce 360,000 tons a year.

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