A gas chemical complex dubbed Surgil project in Uzbekistan, which was passionately led by Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin, is successfully completed in 10 years after the commencement. The project, which has been pushed ahead in cooperation with Lotte Chemical and the Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) is also the first petrochemical plant in Uzbekistan.
Lotte Group held a ceremony marking the completion of the Surgil petrochemical complex at the Surgil gas field near the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan on May 21 (local time). To celebrate the completion and successful operation of the first petrochemical complex in the nation, high ranking officials from the group and both countries, such as Chairman Shin, Lotte Chemical CEO and President Huh Soo-young, Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn and Uzbekistan Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev, attended the ceremony.
Chairman Shin said, “The Surgil gas field is a successful case of the collaboration between state and private business using technologies of the two governments and private firms. As Lotte constructed the first mega-sized petrochemical plant using domestic technology in the Eurasian Continent, which is considered the wasteland in petrochemistry, the group has secured a bridgehead to expand its business territories to Russia and North Africa as well as Central Asia."
The Surgil petrochemical complex project, which is constructed and managed by Lotte Chemical and Uzbekistan’s state-run oil and gas provider, was commenced in 2006 after the heads of Korea and Uzbekistan signed a memorandum of agreement (MOU) to form a strategic alliance between the two nations. In the following year 2007, Lotte Chemical, the KOGAS, and GS E&R Corp. formed a consortium to establish a 50:50 joint venture “UZ-KOR” with the state-run Uzbek oil company Uzbekneftegaz National Holding Co. (UNG). The complex was completed in September last year and kicked off with commercial production January this year. With a total floor area of 1 million square meters (300,000 pyeong), it produces not only natural gas but also chemical products, including high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP). It annually produces 390,000 tons of HDPE and 80,000 tons of PP.
In addition to the Surgil project, Lotte Chemical is carrying out a joint project with the U.S-.based Axiall Corp. to construct an ethane-based cracker fed by North American shale gas. Once the cracker begins commercial production in 2018, Lotte expects that it will reduce the dependence on naphtha, which is used as a raw material for petrochemical products. Chairman Shin also finalized the takeover of Samsung Fine Chemicals (current Lotte Fine Chemical), Samsung BP Chemicals (current Lotte BP Chemicals) and SDI Chemical (current LOTTE Advanced Materials) this year, making Lotte Group’s petrochemical division worth 16 trillion won (US$13.43 billion) in terms of annual sales.