South Korea’s Lotte Chemical Corp. held a ceremony marking the completion of a gas chemical complex - the Surgil project in Uzbekistan. This celebratory event attended by Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn and Uzbekistan Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev and other corporate heads; comes after 11 years of efforts that the parent Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin put into. Lotte Chemical now became the first firm to have constructed a mega-sized petrochemical complex in Central Asia. The complex is located about 1,300 kms northwest of Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent and also nearby the Surgil gas field, making it possible to procure methane gas to process high-density polyethylene and polypropylene at low production cost. The high-density polyethylene is used to make industrial pipes and cables, and polypropylene to make fabrics and clothes.
The Surgil project was commenced in March 2006 after the heads of Korea and Uzbekistan agreed to form a strategic alliance between the two nations. In the following year 2007, state-owned Korea Gas Corp. (KOGAS), Lotte Chemical, and GS E&R Corp. formed a consortium to work together with Uzbekistan’s state-run oil and gas provider Uzbekneftegaz National Holding Co. (UNG). The Surgil project is worth about US$3.89 bln in total, and UNG has 50 percent stake and the other half is owned by the Korean consortium - 24.5% by Lotte Chemical, 22.5% by KOGAS, and 3% by GS E&R. Lotte Chemical invested US$383 mln into this project. The company established a bridgehead to advance into Russia and North Africa as well as Central Asia including the CIS region through this project,” said Shin.