Multinational Consortium Proposes Construction of Gas Chemical Complex in Turkmenistan

Multinational Consortium Proposes Construction of Gas Chemical Complex in Turkmenistan
SOCAR Methanol Plant

The consortium of Edison Technologies, MMEC Mannesmann GmbH, AirLiquideGlobalE & CSolutions and SinopecEngineeringGroup offers to implement an investment project in Turkmenistan to build a gas chemical complex for the production of polyvinyl acetate and methanol.

According to unique technologies licensed by AirLiquideGlobalE & CSolutions and SinopecEngineeringGroup, this complex will be able to produce PVA (100 thousand tons/year), methanol (390 thousand tons/year), vinyl acetate (121 thousand tons/year) and acetic acid (11.8 thousand tons/year).

The consortium proposed to invest directly 100% of the required funds to build the complex. The consortium intends to achieve return on investment by dividing the output profits. The main importers of these products are China and private companies.

Methanol production and its export

The total methanol production capacity in the CIS is 5.45 million tons per year, and Russian enterprises alone produce about 4.5 million tons per year.

Methanol is also produced in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The volume of produced methanol in these countries amounted to 355 thousand tons. A large share of the produced methanol (266 thousand tons) falls on the Azerbaijani SOCAR Methanol plant, which exported most of the products. Methanol production in Belarus ranges from 70 to 85 thousand tons, in Uzbekistan - about 10-12 thousand tons per year.

As for Russia, the prospects for methanol production are evaluated positively, as the country has excess amounts of natural gas used in methanol production. Therefore, experts predict that at a low gas price, new methanol projects will definitely be profitable.

According to international studies, by 2021, global demand for methanol could reach 117 million tons. Positive dynamics is expected for at least the next 5 years. In the regional context, Asia, and above all China, is and will remain the undisputed leader in terms of methanol consumption. If in 2019, the demand of Chinese enterprises for methanol amounted to more than 50 million tons, then by 2021 it will overcome the mark of 80 million tons. (above 90 million tons in overall Asia).

According to many experts, Methanol to Olefins (MTO) projects are increasingly popular in China, and most importantly - they are not only announced, but are also successfully operating. For example, integrated MTO projects for 2018 produced 8.96 million tons. As for non-integrated ones, the volume of consumption grew to 21.2 million tons in 2019.

As for the United States, experts note one interesting point: this is the first country in world methanol history that turned from an importer into an exporter. If in 2019, the demand/production ratio amounted to 7.8 and 6.9 million tons, respectively. These indicators will amount to almost 9 million tons by 2021.

In Kazakhstan, the United Chemical Company is working on several configurations for the methanol production project. According to the project manager of the company Sayagul Ibragimova, the company is considering options for building factories with an annual capacity of 0.9, 1 and 1.6 million tons. The project is planned to be implemented in Atyrau petrochemical zone.