Polypropylene plant

Status: operating (as of November 2022)

General information

Name: Integrated Gas Chemical Complex, Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries Inc. LLP(*)

Chinese name:

Location: Atyrau region, special economic zone “National Industrial Petrochemical Technopark”, 35 km from Atyrau along the Atyrau-Dossor highway (47°20’25.16″N 52°16’5.02″E)

Project type: chemical production

Owner: National Company KazMunayGas JSC, Samruk-Kazyna Ondeu, Firma Almex Plus LLP(*)

Main contractor(s): China National Chemical Engineering Corporation (CNCEC)(*)

Sources of financing: China Development Bank ($2050 mln)(*).

Project Cost: $2630 mln(*)

Project Status: operating (as of November 2022)


Project Overview

The project has been implemented since 2008 and over 14 years there have been several changes in management teams, contractors and shareholders.

The project was developed within the framework of the “Program of Development of Petrochemical Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2008-2013” (2004) with the purpose of using gas from the Tengiz field for the production of petrochemical products and its subsequent sale on domestic and foreign markets. The project involves the application of modern technologies for deep processing of propane (first phase) and ethane (second phase). At the first stage it was planned to build a polypropylene plant with a capacity of 500 thousand tons per year (*) .

The project has been implemented since 2008 and over 14 years there have been several changes in management teams, contractors and shareholders. Now the project is financed by the State Development Bank of China and the National Fund of Kazakhstan (*). The operator of the first phase of the project is a quasi-governed company Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries Inc. LLP (KPI), 99% of which is directly and indirectly owned by Samruk-Kazyna JSC (*) .

As of June 2022, the plant was 99.2% ready: major construction works were completed and site improvements were underway (*).


Project impact


Air environment

Total air pollutant emissions from emission sources will be: 196,351503085 g/sec or 4080,34574637 t/per. In total, 25 hazardous substances will be emitted into the atmosphere during operation, including 8 solid and 17 gaseous substances. Including 1 class of hazard - 2 substances, 2 class of hazard - 5 substances, 3 class of hazard - 6 substances, ingredients of 4 class of hazard - 5 substances. In general, the impact of the projected facilities at the stage of construction and operation on the atmospheric air is assessed as permissible. The minimum SPZ size for the integrated gas chemical complex is 500 m.

Aquatic Environment

The construction area is not located within the water protection zone and/or coastal protective strip of water bodies. The source of water supply for the complex during construction and operation is the Astrakhan-Mangyshlak water pipeline.

Soil and vegetation cover and fauna

Construction works will not have a significant impact on flora and fauna, soil cover. The project site is not part of specially protected natural areas.

Production and consumption waste

The estimated amount of waste for the period of operation of the facility will be 1738.6 tons/year, of which: hazardous - 115.3 tons/year; non-hazardous - 1623.27 tons. All wastes will be transferred to specialized third-party organizations for further processing or disposal.

Socio-economic environment

Construction of the plant will lead to stabilization of production, increase the number of jobs and improve the socio-economic condition of the country's population. However, the continued strengthening of the raw material orientation of oil and gas exports will eventually lead to a decline in the living standards of the population.

Source:  Non-technical summary on the report on possible environmental impacts of the project “Construction of Integrated Gas Chemical Complex in Atyrau Oblast. Adjustment 2”, 2021.

The company believes that the use of these technologies virtually eliminates explosions and produces few emissions

Since the beginning of the project’s implementation and public discussion, KPI promises high environmental safety of the plant, citing that the most advanced technologies Catofin, Novolen, Lummus will be used, which have proven their reliability in other countries. The company believes that the use of these technologies practically excludes explosions and gives a small amount of emissions. The maximum impact zone of a possible accident is just over 15 km, and the distance from the complex to Atyrau is over 25 km(*).

According to Kazgidromet RSE, in summer and fall the area is dominated by north-west winds, which could potentially pose an environmental threat from the plant to Atyrau. KPI believes that, according to calculations, the excess emissions will not exceed the boundary of the sanitary protection zone (SPZ). And for 2022 it is planned to install 4 automatic monitoring stations along the perimeter of the SPZ (*).

Water scarcity will only get worse in the region

One of the most serious potential problems of the project is water supply. The Astrakhan-Mangyshlak water pipeline will be the source of water supply for the complex for the period of operation. The plant is planned to use 3.3 million cubic meters of water per year, of which only 800 thousand tons will be reused.

Already now in Atyrau and Mangistau regions the problem of water shortage has sharply aggravated against the background of climate change. In recent years, Atyrau region has become one of the main industrial regions of the country, where oil and gas enterprises are actively developing and consuming water in large volumes. Mainly from the Astrakhan-Mangyshlak water pipeline. Already now the water intake for the Kashagan project plant at Karabatan has created an acute water shortage for the population in Makat district of Atyrau province (*). In addition, the water pipeline is an international issue, and the western region of the country is highly dependent on Russia’s position on water (*). Water scarcity will only increase in the region, as evidenced by the recent discussion of this issue at the highest level. According to information from the Akim of Mangistau province, one of the pressing problems in the region is water supply. The volume of water supplied through the Astrakhan-Mangyshlak water pipeline and other sources does not fully meet the needs of the population(*) .

*Photos taken from Informburo.kz, azh.kz and caspianlife.kz