SOCAR Divulges Outline Date for Launching Kulevi Terminal

Azerbaijan, Baku, 24 April / Trend corr S. Aliyev/ The new oil terminal of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) in Kulevi (Black Sea shore in Georgia) is expected to be launched on 1 May 2008, SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev said on 24 April.

The terminal will export the oil and oil products of SOCAR and other companies interested in the route. Thus, SOCAR is turning into an upright integrated company which produces oil in its own fields, refines the oil at its two refineries with the total capacity of 20mln tons per year and has its own oil exporting terminal. SOCAR's annual oil production comprises some 9mln tons, refining of crude oil exceeds 6mln tons per year. SOCAR owns 34% of the stocks of the Cross Caspian Oil and Gas Logistic which is engaged in transportation of the oil and oil products via railways to Georgia.

The new oil terminal will transport oil products shipped to the Black Sea as per the contracts with SOCAR. Oil may also be transported. According to experts, several fluid cargos going to Kazakhstan-owned Batumi may be redirected to the Kulevi terminal. The cargo is transported from the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea via Azerbaijan and Georgia.

SOCAR received a large syndicated credit for its construction. The gross amount of the credit, which was established by a consortium of 15 foreign banks headed by Societe Generale, totalled $301mln. The loan is expected to be paid back by 2009.

At present, the capacity of the terminal equals 9mln tons (2mln tons of crude oil, 3mln tons of diesel fuel and 4mln tons of black oil). The capacity of the reserve tank of the terminal is 320,000 cu m. There are plans to increase the capacity of the terminal up to 20mln tons and the reserve capacity up to 380,000 cu m. The port also has 9 auxiliary vessels.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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