By Leman Mammadova
Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR's growing investments in Turkey further deepen bilateral economic ties as well as increasing revenues to both countries.
SOCAR is establishing a petrochemical research and development (R&D) center in the Aliaga peninsula in the Aegean province of İzmir, Turkey, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah.
Reportedly, businesspeople from Azerbaijan, the largest foreign direct investor in Turkey with $26 billion, have once again turned their route to Turkey.
“Gathered under the invitation of Azerbaijani Businessmen Association (TAİB) Chairman Mehdi Nagiyev, the country's businesspeople said they aim to double this investment in the next few years. Nagiyev, on the other hand, stressed that approximately $5.5 billion of the $26 billion investment from Azerbaijan was carried out by the business circle,” said the report.
Anar Mammadov, the general manager of SOCAR Turkey Real Estate and Administrative Construction, recalled that the company's investment in Turkey has reached about $15 billion to date.
"The total planned investment is around $20 billion. Therefore, we plan to invest the remaining amount in the next three to four years," he said.
Mammadov pointed to the ongoing oil and petrochemical R&D project realized in Aliaga, İzmir with an investment of $1.5 billion, adding they are currently in the project phase of the largest R&D center of the Aegean region.
"We aim to complete the project toward the end of 2020. Construction will start this year," he said.
It is reported that the R&D center will focus on the development of petrochemical products, materials, and energy efficiency, as well as wastewater treatment technologies.
Azerbaijani state oil company SOCAR carries out its activity in Turkey through SOCAR Turkey. SOCAR Turkey’s market value is around $11 billion owing to the recent investments. SOCAR Turkey’s share in SOCAR constitutes 35 percent. Meanwhile, 5,000 people work in the company, while the export potential reaches $3 billion. The company has a controlling stake (51 percent) in the Petkim petrochemical complex on the Aliaga peninsula since 2008 and owns the STAR oil refinery.
Star Oil Refinery that is the first Turkey-specific Industrial Zone opened in October 2018. Refinery will supply Petkim with raw materials. Star has already launched the sale of its first products on January 31, 2019. By selling 1.303 tons of naphtha produced at STAR refinery to Petkim, SOCAR Turkey Energy completed the integration of the refinery and the petrochemical complex. The total investment of the project is $ 6.3 billion, of which 90 percent has been already invested. By the end of 2021, Star's total capacity will be increased. In the end, the investment will total $7 billion. STAR has the first investment incentive granted by Turkey.
Recently, SOCAR has acquired EWE Turkey Holding, owned by the German energy company EWE AG to optimize company's activity.
SOCAR will start construction of a new petrochemical complex in Turkey in 2019.The enterprise is expected to be commissioned at the end of 2022.
SOCAR Turkey also plans to increase energy production at the Petkim wind power plant as well as expand network of filling stations in Turkey.
Moreover,Turkish Gubre Fabrikalari TAS (Gubretas) and SOCAR Turkey Energy signed a letter of intent to create a joint venture with a 50 percent share each to import carbamide from SOCAR petrochemical plants and from other manufacturers in the neighboring geography and sell this carbamide in Turkey’s domestic market and in foreign markets.
Investments of the SOCAR in Turkey will reach approximately $20 billion in the future.
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