Smailov wants cabinet to accelerate construction of gas plant at Kashagan

Special correspondent of the "News" department
Смаилов поручил ускорить работы по ГПЗ на Кашагане
Alikhan Smailov ordered the cabinet to intensify the gas plant project at the Kashagan field / Kursiv.Media

According to Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov, the construction of the gas plant at Kashagan must be accelerated.

As the prime minister’s press service reported, the cabinet discussed a set of issues related to gas processing plants at Kashagan, one of the world’s biggest oil and gas fields discovered over the past 30 years, on February 25. Once the plant is completed, it will produce about one billion cubic meters of commercial-grade gas, liquefied gas, sulfur and gas condensate. The plant is expected to start its operation in 2025. 

«In light of the expected increase in oil output at the field, the cabinet is discussing the possibility of launching another gas plant with a capacity of 4 billion cubic meters. This project is going to be implemented in two stages. The prime minister believes that we need to accelerate preparatory work on the project and sign the project’s road map as soon as possible,» the press service said.

The cabinet also discussed issues related to transit and import of gas. For example, the Ministry of Energy suggests that the country may use a new gas pipeline Russia wants to build in order to export gas to China via Kazakhstan, for gasification of its northern and eastern regions. According to Arman Kasenov, deputy head of QazaqGaz, the capacity of the potential Barnaul-Rubtsovsk-Semey gas pipeline (with leadaway pipes to Pavlodar and Usk-Kamenogorsk) can reach 40 billion cubic meters of gas a year, including 10 billion cubic meters of gas for Kazakhstani consumers.

The pipeline would stretch from Semey to Alashankou (China). Also, this pipeline is going to be connected with the current Kazakhstan-China pipeline at Khorgas, which means that the pipelines are going to be connected into a joint system.

The gas plant at Kashagan was expected to start operation in 2024. However, on February 24, 2023, QazaqGaz announced that the plant’s start of operation was rescheduled to 2025. As Kasenov told the Kursiv edition, the company needs additional time to fix problems discovered during the technical audit of the project.

The audit has revealed serious problems with design specifications and estimates documentation that may cause significant risks for the entire project. The documentation has already been corrected and downloaded to the Gosexpertiza website and might be approved in March.

More than 750 workers and 300 pieces of equipment are involved in the project now. However, when the project reaches its peak, the number of workers will be increased to 2,200.

The comprehensive audit of the project and correction of the design and estimate documentation was initiated by QazaqGas when the company was assigned the project’s owner. The company immediately hired two international partners: TUV Rheinland from Germany and Technip Energies from France. Even though QazaqGas has so far covered these costs on its own, the company is trying to raise additional funds.

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