An Uzbekneftegaz, Sasol and PETRONAS joint venture

world record lighting in desert





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About the World Record Attempt

The new world record for the largest image made from LED lights was set at Shurtan in Southern Uzbekistan on the night of the 22nd/23rd July, 2012. The image was built across an area of approximately 750,000m² and contained1,012,840 LED lights, smashing the previous record, which was set in Holland in 2010 and stood at 50,010 LED lights.


The light image was created as part of the naming ceremony for OLTIN YO'L GTL in order to visualise the scale of the project on-site. The idea was conceived on July 3rd and the entire project was completed in just under three weeks.


The project team included OLTIN YO'L GTL, TOShShAHARNUR, the Tashkent municipal lighting company which provided and installed the lights, and Malcolm Wells, Director of Malwell Corporate Projects, who has a long track record of managing GTL promotions, including the GTL Challenge and the Bryan Habana cheetah race.


The light picture took six days to build and needed twenty four kilometres of lighting as well as fourteen kilometres of power cables. It also needed 302 kilowatts of power which was drawn from three generators, a railway station and the Shurtan Gas and Chemicals Complex (SGCC). The SGCC also provided invaluable support and advice to the attempt. The team worked in temperatures of over 40˚C as well as winds of over 35 kmh and, despite the harsh physical conditions, the presence of large numbers of poisonous snakes and the multiple live power lines on-site, the whole attempt was successfully completed injury-free.


Record requirements

In addition to the standard requirements for formal witnessing of the attempt, each Guinness World Record has a set of specific requirements which must be met. These were as follows:


  1. All of the LED lights must be turned on simultaneously for at least five seconds. If this does not happen, the attempt has failed. Two experienced timekeepers (e.g. from a local athletics club) must time the attempt with stopwatches accurate to 0.01 seconds.
  2. The image must be recognizable to a suitable extent.
  3. LED lights used must be commercially available.
  4. LED lights must be anchored securely to the chosen surface before they are turned on.
  5. The image is disqualified if all LED lights are not turned on simultaneously.
  6. Two independent witness statements must count the LED lights used before they are turned on



OLTIN YO'L  GTL will be one of the most advanced energy plants in the world, producing high quality fuels and other products which will improve air quality, deliver a cleaner transport future and support growth and development. The technology used is similar to that of the pioneering ORYX GTL plant in Qatar.


Key facts relating to the project are:

  • Location – Shurtan Gas and Chemical Complex (approximately 40 km from Karshi)
  • Nominal production capacity – 38,000 bpd
  • Product slate – GTL diesel, GTL kerosene, GTL naphtha and LPG. The majority of production will be GTL diesel and GTL kero.

There are three partners in the OLTIN YO'L GTL Joint Venture. They are:


Uzbekneftegaz (UNG)

An established and highly experienced national oil company, Uzbekneftegaz brings a specialized regional knowledge and a particular understanding of the marketing opportunities.



The acknowledged global leader in the production of synthetic fuels and a pioneer in the commercialisation of GTL technology, Sasol has developed world-scale GTL projects on two continents as well as playing a leading role in the development of markets for GTL products. It has particular experience in raising project finance for GTL projects and has won awards for doing so.



A highly respected international player with great experience of successfully developing large-scale energy projects and managing associated challenges including project finance.



At the core of Sasol's GTL technology is the Sasol Slurry Phase Distillate Process™ (SPD process). This is a three stage process which combines three leading proprietary technologies. In the first stage, natural gas is combined with oxygen to form a syngas. Syngas is then subjected to a Fischer-Tropsch conversion to produce waxy syncrude. In the final stage, syncrude is cracked down to produce final products.


The strength of the Sasol SPD™ process is not simply the inherent quality of the three component technologies but also the way they are combined and further refined to increase efficiency and optimise output. This efficient integration is founded on Sasol's unrivalled experience of more than 60 years of synthetic fuel production.



GTL diesel:

With almost zero sulphur, GTL diesel is a high performance, low emissions product.


It can be used in existing diesel engines, either in a neat form or as a blendstock.


GTL diesel reduces some pollutants by up to 70% compared to standard crude-derived diesel and its cleaner and more complete combustion means less build up of deposits in the engine. This reduces engine wear, extends engine life and increases the interval between lubricant replacement.


GTL diesel can also be blended with standard crude-derived diesel, immediately improving the overall quality of the fuel without the need for costly refinery refits.


GTL kerosene:

The world wants cleaner air travel and GTL kerosene offers airline operators a safe and cost-effective way to reduce emissions.


The GTL kerosene from OLTIN YO'L GTL will make Uzbekistan one of the few producers of the most advanced aviation fuel in the world.


Synthetic fuel is already a feature of aviation but GTL has the potential to surpass anything so far achieved in terms of performance and emissions. Aviation is yet another high value and enduring global market in which to realise the premium potential of GTL products.


GTL kerosene is currently approved for use in aviation fuel for blends of up to 50:50.


GTL naphtha:

GTL naphtha is a best in class product.


Highly paraffinic, GTL naphtha has virtually no aromatics or sulphur and negligible metallic contaminants. Light paraffinic naphthas are the most efficient liquid feedstocks for ethylene cracking and ethylene is one of the basic building blocks of the petrochemical industry; the precursor of widely used plastics such as polyethylene, polystyrene and other derivatives.


GTL naphtha paraffin content is typically 98 per cent, which is considerably higher than the 65 to 75 per cent of typical open-spec naphtha. A further advantage of GTL naphtha is the low coking/fouling rate for furnace tubes during cracking.