Kazakhstan may start exporting fuel to Central Asia in 5 or 6 years, minister

March 4, 2014

ASTANA. Interfax-Kazakhstan

After upgrading the refineries and building a new one, Kazakhstan will no longer be dependable on imports of oil products.

“Kazakhstan currently imports 1.6-1.7 million tonnes of light oil. The ongoing upgrade of the three refineries will boost the capacity of the Pavlodar refinery by 7 million tonnes, the Shymkent refinery by 6 million tonnes and Atyrau refinery by 5 million tonnes. Starting from the second half of 2016, Kazakhstan’s domestic demand for petroleum products will be 100% met,” said the head KazMunaiGas Sauat Mynbayev at a briefing on Tuesday in Astana.

He also said that after the construction of the fourth refinery Kazakhstan would start exporting oil products.

“Construction of the plant will take from 5 to 6 years and after that the refined products will be exported. Building a plant with the capacity less than 5-6 million tons is unviable, so in any case, there will be a surplus for exports. Russian market is fuel abundant; China has competitive refineries by costs of labor and equipment; logistics in western markets is difficult, while the Caspian region and Azerbaijan have enough of its own capacities. The potential distribution markets lie in the south: Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan. However, we still need to compete with Russia in these markets as well,” said Mynbayev.

Prior to the construction of the fourth refinery it is necessary to resolve the issues with the financing and feedstock supply, said the Minister.

Earlier, the Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev ordered to immediately start construction of a fourth refinery in Kazakhstan.

There are three refineries in Kazakhstan: Atyrau (west Kazakhstan), Shymkent (south Kazakhstan) and Pavlodar (north Kazakhstan). They all are controlled National Company KazMunayGas.