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Air Products to acquire industrial gas complex in Uzbekistan

| By Mary Bailey

Air Products (Lehigh Valley, Pa.) announced it has signed an investment agreement with the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Uzbekneftegaz JSC (UNG) to acquire, own and operate a natural gas-to-syngas processing facility in Qashqadaryo Province, Uzbekistan for US$1 billion.
The natural gas-to-syngas industrial complex is an integral part of state-owned energy company Uzbekneftegaz JSC’s multi-billion gas-to-liquid (GTL) facility―one of the most advanced energy plants in the world―producing 1.5 million tonnes per year of high value-add synthetic fuels for domestic use and potentially export. 
Under the purchase agreement―which is fully aligned with Air Products’ leading on-site business model―Air Products will acquire, own and operate two large-scale air separation units, two large-scale auto-thermal reforming units, and a hydrogen production unit within the Uzbekistan GTL complex and supply oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and syngas under a long-term, take-or-pay/fixed fee contract to UNG. UNG will supply the feedstock natural gas and utilities and offtake all products. 
Commenting on the agreement, Air Products’ Chairman, President and CEO Seifi Ghasemi said, “Air Products is proud to be deploying our knowledge, experience and technology to help nations around the world access and maximize their abundant energy sources more sustainably. With this strategic acquisition in Uzbekistan, a high-growth environment underpinned by strong government support, we will bring our best-in-class operational and supply competencies to bear. This will enable UNG to seamlessly produce low-cost, high-purity fuels that enable the Republic to meet its growing energy production and societal needs. We look forward to building on this long-term, sustainable partnership and are excited about future opportunities in Uzbekistan and the Central Asia region.”
“Cooperation between the Uzbekistan GTL plant and Air Products is of great importance as it represents a partnership that promises to unleash the enormous potential of the energy sector of the Republic of Uzbekistan,” commented Sidikov Bakhodirjon Bakhromovich, the Chairman of the Board of Uzbekneftegaz JSC. Using a combination of Uzbekneftegaz’s experience in processing natural gas into high value-added products and Air Products’ leadership in the implementation of mega projects, we are starting to work together to achieve common creative goals, such as increasing production efficiency, reducing the final cost of products and reduction of harmful emissions. We are optimistic about the benefits this cooperation will bring both to the company and our Republic as a whole.”