Azerbaijan, Baku, 17 January /corr. Trend I.Khalilova / AzRosPromInvest, the Azerbaijan-Russian joint venture, once again postponed the period of realizing the project on the production and processing of bentonitic clay from the field of Dash Salahli in Azerbaijan's district of Gazakh, which was commenced on 1 November 2006, to the end of the year due to the delays in the equipment delivery, Natig Shirinzade, the Chairman of JV's Board of Directors, said. By 1 July 2008, it was planned to be complete the construction of the plant, although earlier its induction was expected to take place on 10 May.
According to Shirinzade, on 16 January, a meeting of the founders took place in Moscow to discuss the issues of advancement in the realization of the project. The founder from the Russian side is the scientific-production union -'Bentonite' and from the Azerbaijani side - 'Dash Salahli Bentonite'.
The delays in putting enterprise into the full-capacity operation, results from the issue that nearly 8 to9 months are required to prepare the necessary equipment in Germany. Yet, there are some plans to complete the realization of the second stage of the project by 1 July, which will cover 70-75% of the enterprise's capacity.
The daily volume of the production makes up 300 tons of methane-activated bentonitic clay and monthly production - 6-7,000 tons. After commencing the manufacturing of the concluding product, the volumes of production will be increased up to 100,000 tons per month, Shirinzade said.
After the production of the bentonitic clay (concluding products) starts, it will be possible to deliver the monthly volumes of the production of the activated bentonitic clay to the design capacity, but currently it is impossible due to the low profitability of the realization. He considers that exactly due to the inefficiency of the logistics, today's volume of sale of bentonitic clay is not too large.
Due to the increase of the worldwide prices, the amount of the investments for the project will also increase from previous $12mln to $20mln. At present, nearly $9mln has been invested. The Russian side of the enterprise allocates the investment through cash money, but the Azerbaijani side suggests the infrastructure (equipment, technique in JSC) and the right for the land.
The contract on establishment of the JV was signed for a period of 25 years. The reserves of the Dash Salahli field constitute 83mln tons.