By Leman Mammadova
As the Star refinery of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) in Izmir (Turkey) increases its production and export volumes, the revenues to Azerbaijan's economy also grow.
About 4 million tons of diesel fuel will be produced at the Star oil refinery by the end of the year, Director General of the refinery Mesut Ilter told journalists, Report informs.
He noted that about 3.5 million tons of diesel fuel will be delivered to the domestic market.
“Sales of diesel fuel in the domestic market started from early April. Prior to this, diesel fuel was exported, which will be reduced in a few months and more products will be sold on the domestic market. This will help reduce the diesel fuel shortage in Turkey,” Ilter said.
He added that the plant also exports jet fuel, and sales have started in the domestic market since March. Ilter reminded that SOCAR Turkey won the tender as one of the main suppliers of aircraft fuel for the new airport in Istanbul, which will annually receive 700,000 tons of jet fuel from the company. Together with other airports, total aircraft fuel supplies will amount to 1 million tons.
Ilter also said that the first batch of jet fuel for the new airport was loaded this week.
“The plant produces all the products that were planned to be produced. All products are sold. In January, Petkim received naphtha, then LPG. Aircraft fuel and LPG have been sold for domestic need since March, and diesel fuel - since early April. Domestic sales are gradually increasing," said Ilter.
At the same time, products are being exported to 12-13 countries, mainly to the Mediterranean countries.
Ilter noted that almost 15 million barrels of oil were processed at the plant. He stressed that by the end of the year, 8 million tons of oil will be processed, and in April - about 900,000 tons.
“Currently, the plant is processing the Urals brand, various tests are being conducted, after which the processing of other brands will begin. The Star plant üas design to process more than 100 types of oil, and the choice of the types depends on the benefits. Other oil brands will be processed starting from May. Oil supplies are provided by SOCAR Trading,” he said.
The director general also emphasized that the work to increase the storage capacity of oil and oil products at the Star Refinery will be completed by the end of 2020. He noted that currently the storage capacity is 1.6 million cubic meters.
“This volume is expected to increase up to 2.5 million cubic meters. Work is being done to increase volumes, and part of the work will be finalized in July this year. The work is expected to be fully completed by the end of 2020,” he said.
SOCAR carries out its activity in Turkey through SOCAR Turkey. SOCAR has already made $15 billion out of $19.5 billion of investments in Turkey that are important steps towards ensuring Turkey’s energy supply security.
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 been holding a controlling stake (51 percent) in the Petkim petrochemical complex on the Aliaga peninsula since 2008.
Star Oil Refinery that is Turkey's first special industrial zone opened in October 2018. A consortium of Tecnicas Reunidas (Spain), Saipem (Italy), GS Engineering & Construction Corp (South Korea) and Itochu (Japan) built the plant.
The plant will supply Petkim with raw materials, producing 5 million tons of diesel fuel, 1.5 million tons of naphtha, 1.6 million tons of aircraft fuel, 1 million tons of xylene / reformat, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), oil coke and sulfur per year.
Star has already launched the sale of its first products this year. By selling 1.3 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. Star has the first investment incentive granted by Turkey.
Star Oil Refinery, which was built to improve Petkim's value chain, is expected to make a significant contribution to the diversification of SOCAR's assets as a project that holds an important place in the new strategic development course of SOCAR.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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