Uzbekistan to launch its first gas-to-liquids plant by end of 2021

MOSCOW, June 11 (Reuters) - Uzbekistan will launch its first gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in the fourth quarter of 2021, the owner Uzbekneftegaz said on Friday, helping the Central Asia nation reduce its reliance on oil product imports.

The $3.6 billion plant will mean the country can use its large natural gas reserves to make diesel and other fuels.

The plant was nearing completion and would start up in the fourth quarter, Uzbekneftegaz said.

"The start of GTL plant production will help to significantly decrease Uzbekistan's import of diesel and jet fuel," Uzbekneftegaz said in a statement sent in response to a Reuters request.

The plant would refine 3.6 billion cubic metres of gas a year and produce about 1.5 million tonnes of fuel, it said.

Uzbekneftegaz GTL plans to produce annually about 307,000 of jet fuel, 724,000 of synthetic diesel, 437,000 tonnes of synthetic naphtha and 53,000 tonnes of LPG, it said.

Reporting by Alla Afanasyeva; Writing by Olga Yagova; Editing by Edmund Blair

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