China’s Export-Import Bank (Exim) has extended a US$1.1bn loan to Kazakhstan’s national oil company for the construction of a deep oil refinery.

With a tenor of 13.5 years, the loan will allow KazMunaiGas to complete the upgrade of its Atyrau facility, which aims to process 2.4 million tonnes of raw materials, including oil and vacuum gas oil, per year. The project is also meant to improve the environmental quality of the plant and the management of oil resources.

Talgat Baitaz, general director of the Atyrau refinery, says: “The new facility will increase production of high octane gasoline, jet and diesel fuels that meet Euro-5 requirements. It will increase the depth of oil refining by up to 85%.”

He adds that the development of the oil and gas sector in Kazakhstan depends on the completion of this project. “Signing a loan agreement with China Exim is the first step in the implementation of the project,” he says.