US-based industrial gases company Air Products said that it will acquire, own, and operate a natural gas-to-syngas processing facility in Uzbekistan’s Qashqadaryo Province for $1bn.

In this regard, the company entered into an agreement with the Uzbekistan government and Uzbek national oil and gas company Uzbekneftegaz (UNG).

According to Air Products, the natural gas-to-syngas industrial complex is a vital part of Uzbekneftegaz’s multi-billion gas-to-liquid (GTL) facility. The capacity of the facility is 1.5 million tonnes per year of high value-add synthetic fuels for domestic consumption and potential exports.

Uzbekneftegaz board chairman Sidikov Bakhodirjon Bakhromovich said: “Cooperation between the Uzbekistan GTL plant and Air Products is of great importance as it represents a partnership that promises to unleash the enormous potential of the energy sector of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

“Using a combination of Uzbekneftegaz’s experience in processing natural gas into high value-added products and Air Products’ leadership in the implementation of mega projects, we are starting to work together to achieve common creative goals, such as increasing production efficiency, reducing the final cost of products and reduction of harmful emissions.”

The purchase agreement signed by the industrial gases company will allow it to acquire, own, and operate two large-scale air separation units, a hydrogen production unit, and two large-scale auto-thermal reforming units within the Uzbekistan GTL complex.

Under a long-term, take-or-pay/fixed fee contract to Uzbekneftegaz, Air Products will supply oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and syngas. The Uzbek state-owned company will supply natural gas as feedstock as well as utilities and offtake all products.

Air Products chairman, president, and CEO Seifi Ghasemi said: “With this strategic acquisition in Uzbekistan, a high-growth environment underpinned by strong government support, we will bring our best-in-class operational and supply competencies to bear.

“This will enable UNG to seamlessly produce low-cost, high-purity fuels that enable the Republic to meet its growing energy production and societal needs.”

Earlier this month, Air Products signed an agreement to supply its AP-SMR LNG process technology and equipment to Technip Energies for an electric-driven LNG plant in China.