Azerbaijani experts to comprise quarter of Star refinery’s personnel in Turkey

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 13

By Emin Aliyev - Trend: Azerbaijani experts will constitute a quarter of the personnel at the Star oil processing plant being constructed in Turkey's Western region, Coordination Manager at the Star refinery, Afgan Guliyev said at the on-going 'Caspian Oil & Gas Week' conference in Baku.

"Member companies of the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) consortium that participate in the implementation of the project have sufficient experience. They have carried out work in 24 similar refineries in the past five years. In addition, the contractors have work experience in Turkey's market," he said.

According to the coordination manager, the plant will have its own personnel.

"The consortium will train experts that will subsequently work at the plant. They will receive a six month training course including experience in other similar refineries. In the future the personnel will participate in all operations and projects of Star refinery.Subcontractors will be attracted only to the largest ones," Guliyev said.

According to the estimates, the cost of the project of construction and maintenance of the oil refinery with a processing capacity of 214,000 barrels of oil per day (10 million tons/year) is 5.3 billion dollars. The refinery will be built in four years and after its commissioning be able to replace imports of diesel (45 per cent of production) and aviation fuel (15 per cent) through Turkey.

The greater part of the plant's production will be sold within the country for the retail trade and 15-20 per cent of the production is meant for Petkim Holding A.S. which is the only producer of petrochemical products in Turkey.

Currently an 81.5 per cent stake of the STAR Rafineri A.S. oil refinery is owned by SOCAR Turkey Energy A.S. (100 per cent subsidiary of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic), and 18.5 per cent owned by Turcas Rafineri Yatirimlari A.S. whose 99.6 per cent stake is owned by Turcas Petrol A.S.

Construction of the oil refinery will be financed in part by shareholder funds (30 per cent) which will amount to nearly $1.8 billion and the rest will be financed through bank credits.
In June the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development approved a loan of 150 million dollars to finance this project. The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank also decided to allocate credit worth $58 million to SOCAR for a period of 18 years.

In May 2013, SOCAR signed an EPC contract (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) with a consortium of companies to build the STAR oil refinery. The winner of the tender for the construction was an alliance of companies Tecnicas Reunidas S.A., Saipem S.p.A, GS Engineering & Construction Corp and Itochu.

It is planned to carry out the processing of such types of crude oil as Azeri Light, Kirkuk and the Urals at the refinery.

At the STAR plant the annual production of naphtha which is used as a primary raw material by Petkim, will be 1.66 million tons. Currently, more than 80 per cent of Petkim's needs in naphtha are met through imports, but with the introduction of a new oil refinery, dependence on imports will be reduced to zero.

Along with naphtha, the new refinery will produce diesel fuel with ultra-low sulphur to the amount of 5.95 million tons, as well as 500,000 tons of aviation kerosene, 500,000 tons of reformates, 630,000 tons of petroleum coke, 240,000 tons of liquefied gas, 415,000 tons of mixed xylol, 75,000 tons of olefin liquefied gas and 145,000 tons of sulphur.

A launch ceremony laying the foundation of a new oil refinery was held in October of last year in the Turkish city of Izmir.

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