"TOGY Azerbaijan 2016" gets acquainted with SOCAR’s downstream development strategy for 2016

Baku, January 13, AZERTAC

The Oil & Gas Year (TOGY) a series of annual, country-specific energy reports on petroleum provinces worldwide, met with SOCAR Vice President for Strategic Development and General Director of the Oil and Gas Processing and Petrochemical Complex (OGPC), Mr. Tofiq Gahramanov.

During the meeting, both parties discussed SOCAR’s downstream development strategy for 2016 and towards 2020. “Today’s direct downstream priority is the reconstruction and modernization of the Heydar Aliyev Oil Refinery, of the Azerikimya PU production facilities, the construction of the SOCAR Polymer and SOCAR Carbonite plants, and finalizing preparations for the OGPC project in Garadagh”, Mr. Gahramanov told TOGY. “Abroad, our priority goes to the construction of the STAR Refinery in Turkey and the modernization of the processing complex at Petkim Petrokimya Holding”, he added.

The oil price decrease in global markets has given an opportunity to oil-producing countries to increase their efforts towards the diversification of their economies. “Expanding our operations in the downstream sector will allow us to extract additional value from the oil extracted in Azerbaijan, thus compensating financial losses due to decreasing oil prices. This is in line with the Azerbaijani Government’s diversification strategy, and SOCAR is working in that direction”, Mr. Gahramanov said.

Talking about the revamp and expansion of the Heydar Aliyev Oil Refinery, Mr. Gahramanov, noted that the main objective of these works is to increase production capacity of the Refinery from 6 to 7.5 mln tons per year and achieve production of EURO 5 diesel and gasoline for local and international markets. Pre-FEED works were started by the SOCAR-Foster Wheeler joint venture in the third quarter of 2015and the company will start working on the project’s FEED in January 2016. Completion of the FEED is expected for the last quarter of 2016, when engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) works will commence, with the beginning of the construction of the refinery’s bitumen plant. The work programme includes major revamp of Crude and Vacuum distillation unit, Fluid Catalytic Cracking units, as well as construction of 7-8 new units. Early construction of Bitumen unit will allow quick shutdown and demolishment of production facilities of former “Azerneftyagh” refinery and will free seaside territories for the development of different infrastructure projects like White city.

“In October-November last year we have signed Licensing, Guarantee and Basic Design agreements for a number of process units with companies “UOP”, “Axens” and “Poerner”. We will soon award the project management contract for the refinery upgrade, as well as a licensing contract for the sulfur treatment unit”, Mr. Gahramanov concluded.

Ms. Kumbasar and Mr. Gahramanov discussed the importance of showcasing SOCAR’s downstream diversification effort and the role of the report in presenting Azerbaijan’s hydrocarbon industry to international investors. Together with her team of analysts, Ms. Kumbasar has been conducting meetings with leading figures of the country’s industry since the arrival of the team in Baku in September 2015. The report will give the full picture of Azerbaijan’s hydrocarbons industry and its latest development.

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