By Narmina Mammadova
Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR is preparing for official commissioning of the new bitumen plant as part of modernization of Baku Heydar Aliyev Oil Refinery, Public Relations Head at Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR Ibrahim Ahmadov told Trend.
"The major part of the work on construction of the bitumen plant has been completed and the company is preparing for the official commissioning of this plant, which marks completion of the first stage of Baku Refinery’s modernization," he said.
Ahmadov noted that the work on the second and third stages of modernization is already underway and the new units, in particular, those for diesel production, have already been delivered to the refinery area.
"The major part of the work in this direction will be carried out throughout the next two years," he added.
As for the project for transfer of the primary oil processing unit together with atmospheric and vacuum distillation units (ELOU-AVT) from the former Azneftyag refinery, Ahmadov said that the corresponding agreement will be signed after completing the ongoing tender procedure.
"This is the last tender for determining the major contractors. We, of course, do not rule out the possibility of holding tenders in the future by our contractors, which for their part, can choose subcontractors for some works," he added.
Earlier, Ibrahim Ahmadov said that Baku Oil Refinery named after Heydar Aliyev will be able to start Euro 5 gasoline production presumably from early 2021.
Ahmadov noted that modernization will make it possible to provide the domestic market with Euro 5 fuel.
The modernization will also allow to produce Euro 5 gasoline with 92-95-98 octane and other products that will be sold depending on the future market demand, he said.
The modernization of the Heydar Aliyev Baku Oil Refinery, which will be completed in 2021, is currently underway. After modernization, the production capacity of the refinery will be increased from 6 million to 8 million tons per year, and the operational life of the enterprise will increase to 2040.
The cost of modernization of the Heydar Aliyev Oil Refinery is estimated at around $2.2 billion.
Heydar Aliyev oil refinery was established in July 1953 as New Baku Oil Refinery. The combined atmospheric vacuum plant is the major plant at the refinery and has a capacity of 6Mt of crude oil.
The refinery was installed with major equipment including ED-AV-6 unit (1976), a catalytic reforming unit (1980), a gradual coking unit (1986), and a catalytic cracker (1993).
In 2010, the refinery produced 43,000 tons of A-98 gasoline, 1,185,700 tons of A-92 gasoline, 19,700 tons of A-80 gasoline, 600,400 tons of kerosene, 2,420,300 tons of diesel fuel, 214,000 tons of liquid gas, 267,500 tons of coke, and 220,600 tons of furnace oil.
In January 2015, SOCAR announced the liquidation of Azneftyag oil refinery and its merger with Baku Oil Refinery. The decision was made as part of the company’s overall plan to improve corporate structure and optimize business processes through consolidating its refineries under an integrated management scheme.
The move is intended to eliminate economically inefficient production activities associated with operations in two separate refineries.
The company decided to rebuild the refinery so that it will continue to function for another 15 years.
The plant is expected to undergo a large-scale renovation process including the construction of new plants which will increase the capacity and quality of the production.
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