SOCAR to commission new processing complex by late 2020

Oil&Gas Materials 23 September 2011 13:39

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 23 / Trend E. Ismayilov /

SOCAR intends to fully put into operation a new complex for oil and gas processing and petrochemical production in Azerbaijan by late 2020, SOCAR vice-president for strategic development Tofig Gahramanov said at the "Gas Infrastructure World Caspian - 2011" conference on Friday.

"The gas processing plant and the first units of a petrochemical plant will be put into operation in 2017-18," he said. "The refinery will be commissioned later, because it will consist of 23 units connected to each other."

Investments in the construction of the new complex are projected at $15 billion. The payback of the project is 6-7 years.

According to the PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which deals with the financial issues of this project, the process of financing the construction project of the new complex is as follows: 30 percent - at the expense of SOCAR, SOFAZ and the country's state budget, and the remaining 70 percent of funds drawn from banks and international financial institutions.

"The interest drawn on the credits alone may reach $ 2.5 billion," Gahramanov said.

The gas-processing plant will initially produce 10 billion cubic meters with the possibility of increasing to 15 billion cubic meters. SOCAR's own gas, the associated gas from the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli block and other fields, will be used in the processing process.
The gases (ethane, propane, butane) obtained as result of processing will be used as feedstock for the petrochemical plant. Methane will be used for sale to consumers.

The capacity of a refinery is 10 million tons per year. Gahramanov said that the production capacity of the petrochemical plant will initially hit 1.2-1.3 million tons [670 tons of polyethylene, 550,000 tons of polypropylene] a year.

SOCAR can consider a significant increase in production volumes after 2020. Gahramanov said that the optimization of production will take about two months.

"The process of preparing a feasibility study for the project has been completed," the SOCAR vice-president said. "The documents were submitted to the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration and the Cabinet of Ministers."

The feasibility study was prepared by world leaders in the field of design - Foster Wheeler, Technip Benelux and UOP.