Former Soviet state Uzbekistan has started construction of a $2.2 billion oil refinery capable of producing 5 million tonnes per year (tpy).

The Jizzakh Crude Oil Refinery will be located in the Zafarabad district of the Jizzakh region in central Uzbekistan. It will use crude oil imported from neighbouring Russia and Kazakhstan. A pipeline to oil-rich Kazakhstan also will have to be constructed. Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev inaugurated the start of construction by laying the foundation stone in recent weeks.

"Huge transformations have been accomplished during the years of independence in all spheres of the economy of Uzbekistan, including in the oil and gas sector, which has played a decisive role in attaining fuel-energy independence, acceleration of economic alterations, industrial development, increasing the people's welfare," according to Uzbekistan's National News Agency.

It added: "Provision of the population and industrial enterprises with quality petroleum products, as well as increasing the export potential of our country in this sphere are the most important tasks of today and the future in achieving these priority goals. In accordance with the path on the modernization of the power complex through implementation of advanced, science-intensive and innovative technologies, the head of state resolved to construct a new modern oil refinery complex, the design capacity of which is 5 million tons of processed hydrocarbon raw materials annually."

The refinery will process crude to produce 3.7 million tpy of motor fuel, 700,000 tpy of aviation fuel and 300,000 tpy of assorted petroleum products.

The project will use "international norms and standards to ensure industrial and environmental safety, environmental protection".

Earlier this month, Uzbekistan announced that it will build a new oil pipeline to the border with Kazakhstan to import crude for the Jizzakh refinery. The 95-kilometer oil pipeline will be connected to the existing Omsk-Pavlodar-Shymkent oil pipeline in Kazakhstan. KazMunayGas (KMG) (Astana), the state-owned oil and gas company of Kazakhstan, has agreed to provide technical support to Uzbekistan's national gas company, Uzbekneftegaz (Tashkent), on modernising its existing refineries and may take part in the building of the Jizzakh refinery.

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