SOCAR ups production capacity of Baku Oil Refinery

By Amina Nazarli

Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR has started work on improving the production capacity of the Baku oil refinery named after Heydar Aliyev.

The company reported reconstruction of oil refineries is carried out as part of measures to introduce the standard Euro-5 in Azerbaijan.

The project implemented at the refinery is aimed at upgrading process plants, increasing production capacity and improving the ecological environment.

A series of work is planned to be held on modernization of factory catalytic cracking units, according to the message.

“In particular, Italian and US companies have begun designing work to increase the performance of the catalytic cracking No.21 to 7.5 million metric tons per year and more efficient use of internal heat, as well as to increase the productivity of the catalytic cracking unit No.55 to 2.5 million metric tons a year,” the message said.

Special attention will be paid to the issue of ensuring supply of raw material to Azerkimya in order to bring the output of polyethylene and polypropylene production to 100,000 metric tons and 150,000 metric tons per year, respectively.

The project also envisages the construction of facilities for cleaning the equipment from sulfur compounds.

Work on the reconstruction and modernization of the Baku Oil Refinery is scheduled to be completed by late 2018 or early 2019. The plant will continue its work for yet another 15 years, till the commissioning of a new refinery in Azerbaijan within the framework of the OGPC project in 2030.

Earlier, Head of SOCAR Rovnag Abdullayev said that the cost of reconstruction of the refinery is estimated at 1 billion manats, and it will be financed by public funds. Work on the reconstruction will increase its capacity from 6 to 8 million metric tons per year.

The gasoline production capacity will be increased to 3 million metric tons per year.

Oil products are produced at two Baku refineries with a total capacity of 16 million metric tons of oil per year. Both plants are owned by SOCAR, which annually processes approximately 7 million metric tons of oil, extracted onshore and offshore at the expense of its own funds.

In total, Azerbaijan produced over 5.31 million metric tons of oil products in 2014 against 5.09 million metric tons of oil products in 2013.

Azerbaijan's energy giant SOCAR, the only producer of oil products in the country includes Azneft Production Association, which runs a number of onshore and offshore oil producing companies, Azerkimya Production Association, and Azerigas Production Association.

SOCAR, which is keen on expanding operations in the retail oil products market abroad, is involved in exploring oil and gas fields, producing, processing, and transporting oil, gas, and gas condensate, marketing petroleum and petrochemical products in the domestic and international markets, and supplying natural gas to industry and the public in Azerbaijan.

Currently, the company owns some gas stations in Azerbaijan, Switzerland, Georgia and Ukraine. It also has representative offices in Georgia, Turkey, Romania, Austria, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Britain, Iran, Germany and Ukraine, and trading companies in Switzerland, Singapore, Vietnam, Nigeria, and other countries.

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Amina Nazarli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @amina_nazarli

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