By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and the British company BP have postponed the final investment decision on the construction of the Mercury petrochemical complex in the Aliaga district of Izmir (Western city of Turkey) until the end of 2021, local media reported on April 10.
“There have been some delays in our investment calendar in Turkey. The fact that the price of a barrel of oil is around $20-30 has affected both us and our partners. In this regard, the final investment decision on the Mercury project, scheduled for the end of 2020, has been postponed to the fourth quarter of next year,” CEO of SOCAR Turkey Zaur Gahramanov stated.
As it was reported earlier, the construction of the complex was planned to begin this year. The enterprise was planned to be commissioned in 2023-2025.
The new complex will be built next to the Petkim petrochemical complex and the STAR refinery. The value of the project is estimated at $1.8 billion. The share of the parties in the project is 50/50.
It is expected that the construction of a new petrochemical complex will allow Turkey to annually cover the current account deficit at $6 billion.
On December 20, 2018, SOCAR and BP signed an agreement on the evaluation of plans to establish a joint venture for the construction and management of a world-class petrochemical complex in Turkey.
The project provides for the construction in the Aliaga area, of a plant producing 1.25 million tons per year of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), 840,000 tons of paraxylene (PX) and 340,00 tons of benzene.
PTA is the main raw material in the production of polyester, from which containers for drinks and food, packaging materials, celluloid, and other consumer goods and industrial products are obtained.
Note that SOCAR Turkey Enerji A.S. (SOCAR Turkey), a subsidiary of SOCAR which is one of the most deep-rooted global oil and natural gas companies, initiated its business operations in Turkey upon acquisition of 51 percent of the shares of Petkim from the Privatization Administration in 2008.
Drawing attention with its giant projects realized one after another which will have a total investment value of $19.5 billion once completed, SOCAR Turkey encompasses the best-in-breed companies such as Petkim, TANAP, STAR Refinery, SOCAR Terminal, Petkim RES (Wind Power Plant), Bursagaz, Kayserigaz, Enervis, SOCAR Enerji Ticaret, Millenicom, SOCAR Ticaret and SOCAR Depolama.
Moreover, Petkim Petrochemical complex 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.
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.
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