Energy giant SOCAR plans another petrochemical investment in Turkey

Energy giant SOCAR plans another petrochemical investment in Turkey

One of Turkey's largest international investors, SOCAR, has announced new investment plans for the country's petrochemicals industry to be completed by 2022, citing the opportunities in Turkey's petrochemicals market.

As Daily Sabah writes in the article Energy giant SOCAR plans another petrochemical investment in Turkey, investing in Turkey since 2008 starting with the acquisition of Petkim for nearly $2.5 billion and reaching investments of $19.5 billion, State Oil Company of Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR)'s Turkey subsidiary announced a new investment plan in Turkey's petrochemical industry. SOCAR Turkey CEO Zaur Gahramanov has said that SOCAR Turkey's refinery in Aliağa, İzmir, SOCAR Turkey Aegean Refinery (STAR) will start production in September and that the Azeri energy giant is scheduled to decide on new investments in 2019. The company, which has earned the title of Turkey's largest international investor with the energy projects it has undertaken and finished, plans to complete the construction of the new petrochemical complex by the end of 2022. Gahramanov said that the firm delivered a good performance in 2017. One of the companies operating under SOCAR Turkey, Petkim, broke production, revenue and profit records last year with TL 1.4 billion ($351.22 million) in profits, the CEO added.

"All projects are progressing very well. The constructions of Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline [TANAP] and STAR refinery currently continue and they will start operating this year," he said. With their completion, the two largest energy projects in Turkey in which the company has been investing for the past eight years will be accomplished. As Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak previously announced, TANAP is scheduled to start its first deliveries of gas in July, and the STAR refinery will start production in September, Gahramanov said.

SOCAR has so far invested $12.6 billion of the planned $19.5 in Turkey. Once the ongoing projects finish, the company's investments will reach $16.5 billion. The remaining $3 billion, Gahramanov said, will be allocated to new investment projects for 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Concerning the opportunities in the Turkish market for petrochemical investments, Gahramanov said: "We are working on new petrochemical investment projects in Turkey. We will decide on a new petrochemical investment in 2019, and plan to complete the construction of the new petrochemical complex by the end of 2022."Gahramanov drew attention to the problem of Turkey's current account deficit, which largely depends on imported energy products. He said that all of SOCAR's investment aim to narrow that deficit. "The STAR refinery, TANAP and our new petrochemical complex project are designed to narrow the current account deficit and will provide billions of dollars to the Turkish economy," he said, adding that SOCAR plans long-term investments in Turkey as the company has confidence in the country's economy.

Gahramanov said that SOCAR exports 50 percent of Petkim's production and the STAR refinery's petrochemical production will be distributed in the Turkish market. The company expects $12 billion in turnover by 2019 when they start to operate on full capacity. "A new refinery with a capacity of 10 million tons will start operating in Turkey," he said, referring to STAR.

STAR, whose started construction in 2011, is currently under construction on a 2,400-hectare site on the Aliağa Peninsula. With a crude oil processing capacity of 10 million tons, STAR is underway as the most critical component of SOCAR Turkey's integrated energy solutions and value chain. A $6 billion investment, the STAR refinery is the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) made in a single location.

As for oil prices, Gahramanov said that SOCAR does not expect either a drastic fall or rise in prices and foresees that crude prices will hover around $65 to $70 per barrel.

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