Uzbek Base Oil Plant Progresses on Revamp


Uzbek Base Oil Plant Progresses on Revamp
The Uzbekistan Fergana refinery's API Group II and Group III base oil production revamp project is expected to be completed by the start of 2024, with production start expect later that year.. The refinery currently has a Group I base oil plant. Photo courtesy of Uzbekneftegas

A revamp of an API Group II and III base oil plant in Fergana, Uzbekistan, is on track for completion by the beginning of 2024, with production scheduled to start later in that year, according to a news release issued last week.

Since June 2020, when the project was first announced, the refinery operator went through a major ownership reshuffling.

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Previously known as Jizzakh Petroleum, the operator then was a joint venture between Uzbek oil major Uzbekneftegaz and Russian energy giant Gazprom. After Uzbekneftegaz sold its 49% stake in the joint venture to a Cyprus offshore and exited the Jizzakh founding board in October 2021, the company name and status was changed to Sanoat Energetika Guruhu (Industrial energy group), Tass news agency reported.

Sanoat is now 98% owned by the majority shareholder, the Cyprus offshore company Belvor Holding Ltd., and the subsidiary of Gazprom, Gas Project Development Central Asia owns the remaining 2%.

In November 2022, Sanoat and Fergana refinery decided to promote their operation under the Saneg brand, a subsidiary tasked to develop the company’s domestic and international business, and to attract more international investors, the company said.

“The key objective of the project is to satisfy Uzbekistan’s increasing demand for refining products,” Shokir Fayzullaev, general director of Saneg, said in a Feb. 8 news release. “The modernization of the refinery will improve the quality of the produced stock up to the highest international standards, including the quality of the fuels up to Euro-5 standard and lubricants up to API Group II+ and Group III.”

He added that the new products will be more environmentally sustainable, and “we can be a solid competitor to the players in the international markets.”

The company also said that by the beginning of 2024, when the refinery modernization is scheduled to wrap up, the Fergana refinery will be able to double its crude oil processing volume to 2 million tons annually, with hydrocarbon processing efficiency increased from 87% to 92%.

Construction of the hydrocracking unit is ongoing, as well as of the hydrogen and short cycle absorption production units. The company said that so far it has procured 40% of the needed equipment for successful finalization of the project.

Other ongoing construction includes for a control room for the technological process of the production and a modern lab.

Industrial Group Konar, a Russian equipment maker, was chosen to supply part of the new equipment for the Fergana refinery, including product tanks for diesel and gasoline fuel, base oil, gas condensate and other refining products.

“We are set to supply 36 pieces of vertical steel reservoirs, with capacity ranging from 700 cubic meters to 10,000 cubic meters,” Arseniy Dykiy, Konar head manager, said in the company’s Jan. 20 news release.