By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol, is a chemical used as a feedstock to produce adhesives, foams, plywood subfloors, solvents, etc.
Methanol can also be used on its own as a vehicle fuel or blended directly into gasoline to produce a high-octane, efficient fuel with lower emissions than conventional gasoline. Methanol is also a key component in biodiesel, a renewable fuel that can be used in place of, or blended with, conventional diesel fuel.
The only methanol plant in the Caucasus, SOCAR Methanol Plant, located in the Garadagh district of Baku, has been operating since 2013.
SOCAR has told Trend that 350,000 tons of methanol is planned to be produced at the plant by the end of the year.
It should be noted that Turkey, Western Europe and the Mediterranean countries are the major customers of the plant’s methanol. The plant location is a key advantage in the effective transportation of the product to international markets. It also satisfies the growing requirements of the domestic market.
About 230,000 tons of methanol was produced at the plant in 2018 and, according to prognoses, the figure will grow every year.
Presently, methanol is exported to the West through Georgia’s Kulevi Oil Terminal, the storage capacity of which is 20,000 cubic meters of methanol, and from the Baku Port through the Caspian Sea to Kazakhstan as well as to other international markets.
SOCAR Methanol Plant also plans to increase exports through the Caspian Sea via the Volga-Don Canal in future.
Approximately 400 employees are employed at the plant, which has an annual production capacity nearing 700,000 tons.
In addition to intermediate products in the gas-chemical industry, the plant has already begun manufacturing end consumer products, including analytical methanol used in laboratories as a chemical reagent.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz