By Nigar Abbasova
Azerbaijan has ceased import of AI-92 petroleum following the resumption of production at Baku Oil Refinery named after Heydar Aliyev, which was earlier suspended due to scheduled repair works.
Azerbaijani state oil company SOCAR's President Rovnag Abdullayev said that about 30,000 gasoline was imported to the country during maintenance operations at the refinery.
“The refinery resumed the output of oil products on September 14 and we immediately ceased import. We imported petroleum to create reserves, which may be used in case of necessity,” he said, mentioning that demand of the population was met owing to available reserves and halt of the production at the site was not noticeable.
The output volume of AI-92 grade of benzene was sufficient before the launch of maintenance operations. The operations were implemented within the modernization plan, which is expected to finish by 2020. By that time, producing capacity of the refinery will increase from 6 million up to 7.5 million tons per year.
The head of SOCAR also said that the company faced losses worth millions of dollars despite that the government canceled customs duties and excise tax to minimize financial losses of the company during the maintenance period.
The losses occurred due to the fact that the price for the imported petroleum is twofold higher than its price in the domestic market.
The Cabinet of Ministers made a decision to temporarily eliminate customs duty on imported gasoline with an octane rating of 92 upon the appeal of SOCAR in August.
The operations, which were held in accordance with the schedule, provided for the implementation of technical servicing operations, analysis of conditions of equipment, as well as commissioning of catalytic cracking, primary processing, coking and catalytic reforming facilities
Azerbaijan produced some 5.45 million tons of oil products in 2015 as compared to the volume of 5.31 fixed in 2014. The country produces some 3.14 million tons of oil products in the January-July 2016 as against the level of 3.67 in the same period of 2015.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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