By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Heydar Aliyev Baku Oil Refinery, which processes 21 out of 24 grades of Azerbaijani crude oil and 15 different petroleum products, including automotive gasoline, aviation kerosene, diesel fuel, black oil, petroleum coke, etc., is being modernized and reconstructed.
Nihal Allahverdiyev, the director of the modernization project, has told reporters that the state oil company SOCAR plans to complete reconstruction and modernization works at Heydar Aliyev Baku Oil Refinery at the end of 2024 or in 2025.
Allahverdiyev emphasized that the annual processing capacity of the oil refinery will reach 7.5 million tons in 2025.
He added that the project has undergone changes regarding the reconstruction of existing facilities. In particular, it was originally envisaged to reconstruct six units. These units include naphta hydrotreating, vacuum gas oil hydrotreating, amine regeneration unit, catalytic reforming unit and catalytic cracking unit.
However, Allahverdiyev noted that an analysis of the results of the technical audit conducted by TR company last year revealed that these installations, which will be reconstructed, are in worse condition than it was expected.
“This dramatically increased the amount of work and equated the cost of reconstruction with the cost of building new installations ", he said.
Saying that in the process of the reconstruction of the catalytic cracking unit, replacement of up to 90 percent of equipment is required, Allahverdiyev added that in this case there would be a need to stop the work of the installation for 15-18 months instead of the planned two months.
“This, in turn, would require the import into Azerbaijan of large volumes of automobile gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel and raw materials for the plants of the Azerkhimiya production association,” he pointed out.
Then, Allahverdiyev stressed that it was decided to build catalytic cracking, catalytic reforming, naphtha hydrotreating, vacuum gas oil hydrotreating and amine regeneration unit, as well as additionally to build a hydrogen unit using the most advanced technologies for producing high-quality fuel and ensure reliable operation of the plant for a long time.
“Work in this direction is already underway. Simultaneously, in order to ensure the production of diesel fuel in accordance with Euro-5 standards in 2021, and before the commissioning of new units, a small reconstruction will be carried out on the existing ones to ensure their reliable operation for the next 4-5 years," he said.
Allahverdiyev noted that the cost of the plant’s modernization and reconstruction project is currently $2.2 billion, but the final price will be determined and announced after selecting contractors for the construction of new units.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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