TASHKENT (TCA) — Uzbekistan is ready to buy up to 500 thousand tons of Russian crude by the end of this year for its new oil refinery being built in the Jizzakh province, Russia’s Izvestiya newspaper reported with reference to a letter from Uzbekistan’s Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov to Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.
According to Izvestiya’s source close to the Russian Energy Ministry, Russian state-controlled Rosneft oil company may supply to Uzbekistan part of the oil intended for China.
Uzbekistan started construction of a new oil refinery in the Jizzakh province in April.
Uzbekistan, which lacks domestic crude to fully load its existing oil refineries and experiences regular fuel shortages, has embarked on this costly project whose future resource base may put Tashkent in a position of being politically dependent on Russia.
The $2.2 billion oil refinery would produce fuel for sale domestically and abroad.
Official news sources reported that oil supply agreements had already been reached with Kazakhstan and Russia.
The new refinery is designed to process up to 5 million tons of oil annually, an almost 50 percent increase on Uzbekistan’s existing refining capacity. It will produce 3.7 million tons of gasoline, more than 700,000 tons of aviation fuel and 300,000 tons of associated products. Completion of the project is planned for 2022.
Uzbekistan now has three refineries — Alty–Aryk, Ferghana and Bukhara — that can collectively process up to 11 million tons of oil.