Thursday, August 09, 2012 -
Construction of a 300-ton-per-year oil refinery has begun in the south of Tajikistan to reduce the country’s dependence on costly Russian petroleum products, government authorities said Thursday.
Tajikistan’s ministry of energy and industry said it has already forged deals with other nations to secure reliable supplies of crude oil for the new plant.
The Dushanbe government gave the thumbs up for the project in June, an unnamed ministry official told the local independent Asia-Plus news agency.
He said the ministry is also building two other smaller oil refineries.
The Shahrinav refinery, a few miles west of the capital Dushanbe, will enter operation in early September, the source said. The plant will initially refine 50 tons of petroleum products per year. Planners expect to double that output with further expansion.
Construction of another oil refinery is underway in Kanibadam city in northern Tajikistan, also with an annual output of 50 tons.
The mountainous Central Asian republic of 7.3 million people consumes just 800,000 tons of petroleum products each year. This is almost wholly supplied by Russia, with the remaining imports are sourced from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
Tajikistan had enjoyed duty-free oil imports from Russia under a free trade agreement signed in 1995 between member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
But in May 2012, Moscow introduced a customs tax, propelling the prices of petroleum products in Tajikistan upward.