Air Products, a US-based industrial gases company, has signed a $1bn (UZS11.4bn) deal to purchase, own and operate a natural gas to syngas processing unit in Uzbekistan.

The gas processing plant, which is in the Qashqadaryo Province, is part of government-backed energy company Uzbekneftegaz’s gas to liquid (GTL) facility.

It is said to have a production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per annum of high value added synthetic fuels for both domestic use and export.

Specifically, the agreement with the Uzbekistan government and the energy company contemplates the acquisition, ownership, and operation of two sizable air separation units, two auto-thermal reforming units, and a hydrogen production unit within the GTL complex.

Under a long-term contract, Air Products will supply oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and syngas to UNG, while UNG will provide the necessary natural gas and utilities.

UNG will also buy all products from the plant.

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.”

Uzbekneftegaz chairman of the board Sidikov Bakhodirjon Bakhromovich said: “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.”