Turkmenistan’s new US$1.7-billion gas-to-liquids refinery has sent its first shipment of synthetic gasoline produced from natural gas to Afghanistan.
In 2014, Turkmenistan launched the construction of the plant in Ahal province. The new complex is designed to process 1.785 bcm of natural gas per year into 600,000 tons of A-92 gasoline per year, 12,000 tons of diesel fuel and 115,000 tons of liquefied natural gas.
A framework agreement for this project was signed between the State Concern TurkmenGas and a consortium of companies including Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd (Japan) and Rönesans Türkmen (Turkey) in 2013.
In April 2016, the Turkmenistan Ministry of Oil & Gas announced that a consortium of South Korean LG International Corp., Hyundai Engineering Co, and Japanese Itochu Corporation will start the construction of a new plant to produce synthetic liquid fuels (GTL, gas-to-liquid). The complex is designed to process 3.7 bcm of natural gas into 1,100,000 tons of diesel fuel, as well as more than 400,000 tons of straight-run gasoline (naphtha), per year.
Turkmenistan is one of the five Caspian Sea littoral countries, an area with large volumes of oil and natural gas reserves. The country had estimated proven natural gas reserves of 265 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) as of January 2016, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). It is the sixth largest natural gas reserve holder in the world according to the Oil and Gas Journal, and was among the top 15 dry natural gas producers in 2015.
The country has several of the world’s largest natural gas fields, including 10 with more than 3.5 Tcf of reserves.