By Abdul Kerimkhanov
SOCAR Turkey Energy, which is a subsidiary of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), plans to lay the foundation of the Mercury petrochemical complex in Turkey in the first half of 2020, said Zaur Gahramanov, CEO at SOCAR Turkey.
He added that these investments, like all other projects, are of great importance for SOCAR.
As Gahramanov stressed, with the commissioning of this enterprise, Turkey will settle the matter with the import of purified terephthalic acid.
The new complex will be built in the Aliaga district, next to the Petkim petrochemical complex and the STAR refinery.
Gahramanov pointed out that the proximity of the future enterprise to the raw materials that it will receive from Petkim and the STAR refinery and to the joint infrastructure of these enterprises will be a great advantage in terms of productivity and competitiveness of the new complex.
He added that the reformate produced at the STAR refinery will be processed at the Mercury complex, and as a result, high value-added petrochemical products will be produced.
At present, Petkim's share in the Turkish petrochemical products market is 20 percent. The construction of the new complex will allow Turkey to reduce imports of petrochemical products and contribute to reducing the foreign trade deficit.
Earlier it was reported that SOCAR Turkey Energy plans to complete the process of selecting the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the Mercury petrochemical complex construction at the end of 2020 and begin construction work. Commissioning of the enterprise is planned before the end of 2023.
The project cost is estimated at $1.8 billion. For its implementation, it is planned to create a joint venture with British BP on an equal footing. The final investment decision on the project will be made before the end of 2019.
It is expected that the new petrochemical complex will allow Turkey to annually cover the current account deficit of $6 billion.
SOCAR is the largest investor in Turkey’s economy. Its total investments in Turkey exceeded $20 billion for the period 2008-2018.
On December 20, 2018, SOCAR and BP signed contractual principles for evaluating plans to create a joint venture for the construction and management of the petrochemical complex in Turkey.
The project provides for the construction of the complex in the Aliaga district that will produce 1.25 million tons per year of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), 840,000 tons of paraxylene (PX) and 340,000 tons of benzene.
PTA is the main raw material in the production of polyester, from which containers for drinks and food, packaging materials, photos and film, and other consumer goods and industrial products are obtained.
SOCAR carries out its activity in Turkey through SOCAR Turkey. So far, SOCAR Turkey has invested over $14 billion in the Turkish economy. Meanwhile, 5,000 people work in the company, while the export potential reaches $3 billion.
SOCAR has a controlling stake (51 percent) in the Petkim petrochemical complex since 2008. Petkim Petrochemical complex, a subsidiary of SOCAR in Turkey, produces plastic packages, fabrics, detergents, and is the sole Turkish manufacturer of such products, a quarter of which is exported. The complex includes 14 factories producing 20 different types of products.
SOCAR Turkey Energy continues to boost the country’s economy and industry with strategic investments, rapidly moving forward every year to become Turkey's largest industry group.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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