By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
SOCAR's Star oil refinery, which is Turkey's first special industrial zone having a potential to make a noticeable contribution to the diversification of SOCAR's assets, is an important component in the strategic development course of SOCAR.
Murat LeCompte, Chief of External Affairs at SOCAR Turkey Energy, told Trend that the production at Star refinery has actually started now, testing is complete and all the units have been commissioned.
“Star refinery is at the start-up phase. By the end of this year, about 8 million tons of crude oil will be processed at Star refinery. Most of that is currently coming from Russia. But over time, we will be buying crude oil from other sources as well, from Iraq for example. There will be some Basra fuel coming in the near future,” LeCompte said.
Speaking about Petkim petrochemical complex, he noted that this is Turkey’s largest petrochemical producer, and having 2500-3000 customers in Turkey, it presently supplies approximately 20 percent of the market.
LeCompte emphasized that medium-sized business companies take Petkim’s products and turn them to finished products for the end-users. He also mentioned export capacity of the company, stating that Petkim sells 20 different products to 11 countries, including Germany.
Then, LeCompte spoke about SOCAR’s fuel supply to Istanbul airport.
“SOCAR’s fuel supply to Istanbul airport will stand at a total of 700,000 tons of jet fuel yearly. So far we have actually started. We’ve already sent two tankers from the Star refinery to the airport. It is just started and it is on track,” he pointed out.
Stressing that Turkey’s largest investments actually come from Azerbaijan, especially from SOCAR, LeCompte noted that the total investment has reached $15 billion since 2008.
“If you add the amounts that are planned, it is going to be a total of $19.5 billion,” he added.
Chief of external affairs also talked about forthcoming plans on the construction of a new petrochemical plant. He said that the final investment decision on that plant should be given at the end of first quarter of 2020 and construction duration of the project will take from two to three years.
“So in 2022-2023 hopefully, it will be finished. That’s the joint venture between SOCAR Turkey and BP. Currently, that’s the only one the table. Currently, we are doing Front-End Engineering Design (FEED), and feasibility studies,” LeCompte said.
In addition, LeCompte touched upon acquisitions made this year. He said that the company acquired two natural gas distribution companies, Bursagaz and Kayserigaz, which have about 1.5 million subscribers in Bursa and Kayseri cities.
Moreover, chief of external affairs added that they purchased three more companies in 2019.
“One of them is a kind of energy trading and electrical trading company, one of them is the telecommunications company and one of them is the company that provides services in the energy industry. We are continuing to invest in Turkey. We think it is a good market, we think the economy is strong,” he emphasized.
The $6.3 billion-worth Star oil refinery, which was built by SOCAR in the Aliagha district near the Turkish city of Izmir, in the territory of the Petkim petrochemical complex, will produce 1.6 million tons of naphtha, 1.6 million tons of aviation fuel, 4.8 million tons of low-sulfur diesel fuel, 700,000 tons of petroleum coke, 420,000 tons of mixed xylene and 160,000 tons of sulphur.
In general, SOCAR Turkey has a controlling stake (51 percent) in the Petkim petrochemical complex.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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