Head of State Shavkat Mirziyoyev identified important priorities for the planned organization and improvement of the development of the oil and gas industry and all other sectors of the economy. Resolution and its execution Head of State Shavkat Mirziyoyev identified important priorities for the planned organization and improvement of the development of the oil and gas industry and all other sectors of the economy. In accordance with this, our country pays special attention to attracting a large number of foreign investments in order to develop the oil and gas industry and expand its capabilities. An illustrative example is the transfer of the Fergana Oil Refinery (Fergana Oil Refinery) to the trust management of Jizzakh Petroleum LLC, approved by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On the modernization and reconstruction of the Fergana Oil Refinery" dated February 7, 2020.
In our country, every year on the first Sunday of September, the Day of Oil and Gas Industry Workers is widely celebrated. On the occasion of the professional holiday, we had a conversation with the director of the Fergana oil refinery Khabib LATIPOV about what work is being done to ensure the implementation of the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
- First of all, let me tell you a little about the history of this industry, - said H. Latipov. - Because oil production and refining are directly interconnected. The first processes associated with the oil industry in our country began in 1885. At that time, oil was produced from two wells in the area of the Chimion village, located in the Fergana region. At the beginning of the last century, serious research was carried out, as a result of which the first oil refinery was built in the Altyaryk region in 1906, consisting of one two-cubic unit of periodic action. The main products of production at that time were lighting kerosene and heating oil. Technological and production processes have been improved at this plant for decades.
In 1958, the Fergana oil refinery was put into operation, which also included the Altyaryk fuel production. The accumulated experience allowed the Fergana refinery to become the largest oil refinery in the fuel and oil direction in Central Asia. It should be noted that in order to increase the output of high-quality oil products in 2000, together with the Japanese companies Mitsui and Toyo Engineering, the Fergana refinery was reconstructed.
The special attention of our President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, paid to the development of the oil and gas sector, is an important step towards ensuring the well-being of the domestic economy and citizens, as well as the country's energy independence. A vivid example of this is the decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated February 7, 2020, which defines the tasks for the modernization and reconstruction of the Fergana refinery by transferring it to the trust management of Jizzakh Petroleum LLC, which launched a new life for the Fergana refinery.
- What is the significance of modernization and reconstruction of the plant?
- It is planned that the work on reconstruction and modernization of the enterprise will last for three years. As a result, the Fergana refinery will be able to produce motor gasoline of the AI-92 and higher grade, as well as diesel fuel of the Euro-5 ecological standard. The future configuration of the refinery will include a hydrocracking complex, as well as modernized fuel and oil units, which will increase the depth of oil refining up to 92 percent, contributing to an increase in the yield of oil products with high added value. The production of aviation and diesel fuel, as well as base and commercial oils will increase, bringing the capacity utilization level of the Fergana refinery to 2 million tons of hydrocarbons by 2023.
It is important to note the positive impact of modernization on the environmental situation. After all, cars produce about 93 percent of all emissions into the atmosphere, and Euro-5 fuel reduces the amount of pollutants in car exhaust.
- Earlier it was reported that the investments of Jizzakh Petroleum JV LLC in the modernization of the plant will amount to USD 300 million. Is this figure relevant today?
- Yes, we reported this earlier. The investment figure for the project has not changed, everything is proceeding according to the schedule.
- You have worked for an international oilfield services company in Moscow for many years. The experience you have accumulated will definitely come in handy in the work started today at the plant. Tell me, will foreign specialists be involved in the project?
- In fact, I worked for thirteen years in Moscow at ERIELL Neftegazservice LLC, which provides clients with services for drilling oil and gas wells, having in its fleet 45 drilling rigs with a lifting capacity of 120 to 450 tons. The main customers are such large companies as Gazpromneft, Rosneft, NOVATEK and LUKOIL. Until the end of 2015, I worked as the CEO of this company, and until the spring of 2020, as an advisor, I was involved in the development of this business in South America, the Middle East and North Africa. in the spring of 2020, having received an offer from the management of Jizzakh Petroleum LLC to head the Fergana oil refinery, I accepted it without hesitation, as I am glad that I have the opportunity to use the experience and knowledge accumulated by me during my work in a large international holding, as well as the skills acquired in communication with representatives of other foreign companies, for the benefit of the prosperity of the economy of our native Uzbekistan.
Indeed, foreign specialists will be involved in the implementation of the project both on a permanent basis and for the period of modernization. So, in the coming days, Alexey Vladimirovich Myltsyn will be hired for permanent work as the first deputy - technical director of our enterprise, who has extensive experience in leadership in this area and was directly involved in the modernization of a number of Russian and Ukrainian oil refineries. In addition, along with local specialists, British, French and Italian specialists are also involved in the project.
- What is being done today to bring the plant to a qualitatively new level?
- Fergana Oil Refinery is one of the leading enterprises for the production of fuels and lubricants in the region, which has a rich history and traditions. At present, our plant employs about seven thousand people, many of whom continue the family dynasties of the company's employees. At the same time, the plant covers three regions - Namangan, Fergana and Tashkent, where our production facilities are located. The organizational and technological transformations carried out at the plant will affect all spheres of its activity.
Thus, the plant has begun the reconstruction of existing and construction of new production facilities, the introduction of advanced digital technologies. The enterprise has launched a stage-by-stage complex of works on design, purchase of equipment and materials, construction and commissioning of new plants and processes for producing highly concentrated hydrogen, isomerization of light naphtha and hydrocracking of vacuum distillates.
To date, technological flow diagrams (PFD), material and heat balances, as well as a preliminary master plan of licensed installations have been developed. In addition, work has begun on the development of a feasibility study and a draft EIS, and topographic surveys have been completed. field experimental work continues at all construction sites of the Fergana refinery. Both foreign companies, such as Axens, Amec Foster Wheeler and Argus Media, and local organizations, JV UzLITIengineering and UzGASHKLITI, are involved in the implementation of this project.
Despite all the difficulties associated with the coronavirus pandemic, we do not stop and carry out the necessary work in compliance with all precautions. Along with technical modernization, the enterprise carries out an equally important task of creating the most efficient production by forming digital models of control and decision-making. In the interests of improving the workflow and improving working conditions at the plant, a unified production control center, an access control system (ACS) is being introduced, the replacement of obsolete computers and other office equipment, including telephony, with more powerful ones with modern software has begun. We also pay special attention to the implementation and development of automation of the processes of both the main and auxiliary industries in order to increase labor productivity and the stability of the operations performed. For these purposes, a project has been developed, a schematic diagram of the modernization and expansion of the fiber-optic network has been built, and appropriate equipment has been purchased.
With the implementation of this project, the data transfer rate of the plant's information network will increase from 2 Mbit / s to 1 Gbit / s and will provide full coverage of its territory.
- What exactly will change with the use of digital technologies in production?
“They will further enhance efficiency at every stage of the manufacturing process. Thus, the creation of a single production control center at the Fergana refinery is another important stage in the transformation of the refinery's business in the segment of refining, logistics and sales. The new system being built will make it possible to manage the business faster and more efficiently as a single asset based on real data, which, in turn, will bring the Fergana Refinery to the level of the world's leading enterprises in terms of efficiency, safety and reliability of assets. At the same time, work began on the implementation of measures aimed at optimizing production costs and energy costs, as well as reducing the loss of hydrocarbons.
- What specific results have you achieved already now?
- A 100% payment has been made under the contract concluded with Axens for the manufacture of a diesel hydrotreating catalyst for the prompt replacement of the old one with a more modern and highly efficient one. This will allow us to produce diesel fuel of at least Euro 4 standard at the end of October this year.
- As a representative of a private company, did you feel the differences in the corporate culture at a state enterprise?
- It is not news to anyone that the psychology and principles of work organization of employees of state-owned enterprises differ from those at enterprises of the commercial sector. When I came to the plant, at first the corporate center was perceived with great caution. It was obvious to me that changes need to be made in stages, first of all by focusing the team's attention on the state of the plant, its needs, customer demand, as well as creating an effective organizational and management structure of the enterprise, actively using feedback and direct promotion of new corporate rules. I can say that certain results have already been achieved in this direction, but, of course, there is always something to strive for.
There is a lot of work to be done on structuring the business, the correct placement of personnel, as well as optimization of costs and expenses. In this context, we should also note the special importance that we attach to training and retraining of the refinery personnel to ensure that they comply with international standards and understand the current market trends in oil refining.
At the same time, we do not forget about staff motivation, which for us is a key area of personnel policy. It must be emphasized that every employee is important to us. Someone we will retrain, someone we will transfer after certification to other areas of work, based on their skills and knowledge. And I want to assure everyone that none of the employees will be left without due attention.
- What is the social policy pursued by the management of the Fergana Oil Refinery?
- The most important thing at an enterprise is its people, its most important component. The labor activity of employees at our enterprise meets all the norms of the current legislation, is adequately rewarded and contributes to personal and professional development.
The plant has provisions on bonuses for employees, there is a practice of providing material assistance to both current and former employees, veterans, children of employees. Conditions are created for the professional growth of employees - the plant has its own modern training center, which makes it possible to get access to the latest educational programs and technologies on the job. Caring for people and their professional growth is the foundation on which we want to build our relationships. At present, the refinery, on the basis of the existing hostel, is carrying out repair and construction work to put into operation a hotel for guests of the Fergana refinery and a polyclinic at the end of this year, which will serve the workers of the refinery and their families. At the same time, the plant is a socially responsible enterprise and always, based on its capabilities, provides free assistance to the city and region. Thus, the plant provides charitable assistance to orphanages, people with disabilities, educational and health care institutions, and carries out massive work on the improvement of urban areas.
- Do you receive support from the leadership of local authorities and administration in the implementation of the project?
- It is difficult to underestimate the significance of this project - this is, first of all, the issue of energy independence and security of our country. And that's it. In this context, it is gratifying to note that the local regional administration, represented by the khokim of the Fergana region, Shukhrat Madaminovich Ganiev, pays special attention to the importance of the modernization at the plant, since this is a strategically important project not only on the scale of the region or the Fergana Valley, but the economy of the entire country as a whole.
In particular, already now, the Fergana Oil Refinery, in accordance with a contract with the HUMO AIR airline, has established the production of B-92 aviation fuel, which is necessary for AN-2 light aircraft, which will operate regular flights within the republic, including to the Sokh district of the Fergana region. , which is an exclave, and the creation of an "air bridge" is vital for its 80,000 population. In addition, the FNPZ is a taxpayer - in the first half of this year alone, almost 335 billion soums were transferred to the budget. We are aware that the work is very painstaking and difficult, however, we look to the future with confidence, since with all our soul we want to restore the former power of the plant, the largest and most demanded plant in Central Asia. - Today, the oil industry pays great attention to the issues of industrial and environmental safety. What is being done at the plant in this direction? - At the Fergana refinery, due to the specifics of its activities, complex and potentially dangerous work is performed every day, and ensuring their safety is the most important task for us. We prioritize safety, safety of life and health of employees than other achievements. In this regard, we focus on the prevention and prevention of accidents, cases of deterioration in the health of workers, industrial injuries and occupational diseases, and only then measures aimed at localizing and eliminating incidents. The basis for the implementation of the strategic goals to ensure safe working conditions at the plant is defined as leadership and maintaining a high culture of safe work, the right attitude to environmental protection. To improve the environmental situation, a comprehensive program has been developed and approved, aimed at studying the state of oil pollution of groundwater, which will make it possible to develop specific measures to localize the situation. For this, a contract was signed with the State Enterprise "GIDROINGEO Institute" to conduct scientific research in order to determine the degree of contamination of groundwater and places of their accumulation with oil products, as well as a working group was created, including interested heads of shops and chief specialists of the Fergana refinery, which is entrusted with these tasks ... In order to prevent leakage of oil products from above-ground structures, work was carried out to test for tightness of all tanks, tanks and oil product lines at the refinery by raising the pressure of the pipelines by 1.25 percent and fixing the statistical levels of the tanks. As part of the modernization and reconstruction of the plant, it is envisaged to optimize the technological scheme for processing raw materials with the exclusion of up to 30 percent of obsolete and ineffective installations, tanks and communications, through the construction and launch of new ones. At the same time, the new tanks will be equipped with modern instruments for monitoring and recording volumes, which, after the completion of the reconstruction of the enterprise, will become components of a unified automated control system. All this will improve the reliability of work and minimize the impact of the human factor on production and ensure the safety of the environment. - What goals do you set after the modernization of the plant? - The traditional world model of oil refining is the production of oil products in the regions of their consumption to minimize logistics costs. After the modernization of the FNPZ, the plant, producing a high-quality and affordable wide range of popular products, must restore its "status quo" in the territory of the republic and neighboring Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. In the interests of independence from imported hydrocarbons, the process of increasing oil and gas condensate production in our republic will play an important role. As far as I know, this strategic issue is being successfully addressed by Jizzakh Petroleum LLC. The main goal of our strategy is to form in Uzbekistan a reliable system of supplying the country and the population with energy resources. - What would you like to wish on the eve of the holidays? - The staff of the Fergana Oil Refinery is a friendly family that takes care of veterans and takes care of young people. The energy security of the region largely depends on the employees of the enterprise. I want to sincerely congratulate our workers, their families and all readers on the 29th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Day of the Oil and Gas Industry Worker, and wish them good health, prosperity and success in their work.
Interviewed by Nasiba ZIEDULLAEVA, corr. UzA