23 Oct 2023 18:18

SOCAR plans to increase STAR refinery capacity to 13 mln tonnes

BAKU. Oct 23 (Interfax) - The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) plans to increase the capacity of the STAR refinery in Turkey to 13 million tonnes per year in 2024, the new head of the SOCAR Turkey Refining & Petrochemical Business Unit (SOCAR Turkiye business unit for oil refining and petrochemicals) - General Director of the Turkish Petkim Petrokimya Holding Kanan Mirzaev, said.

"Since its inception to date, the STAR Refinery has achieved a significant increase in capacity with little investment by leveraging optimization capabilities in plant design. In particular, the refinery's capacity has been increased from 10 million tonnes to 12 million tonnes per year. We are focused on increasing this capacity in 2024 to 13 million tonnes per year," Mirzaev said in an interview with Turkish media.

He said that the STAR refinery, which supplies 25% of Turkey's needs for petroleum products and occupies 19.5% of the country's domestic market, demonstrated successful operating results in 2022.

"We can say that this dynamic continues into 2023. The price difference between Brent oil and other regions had an especially positive impact on us from a crude oil perspective and was the main reason why the refinery's EBITDA was better than planned. We are committed to maintaining this successful operation in 2024 as well," Mirzaev said.

He said that SOCAR has a positive outlook on the prospects for both the Petkim petrochemical complex and the STAR refinery, "which is consistent with current market conditions and expected global trends."

"Of course, these estimates may change depending on global economic and political dynamics. However, based on current data, we can say that our companies are maintaining their performance and continue to grow," he said.

The SOCAR Turkey Refining & Petrochemical Business Unit includes the STAR refinery, Petkim petrochemical holding, SOCAR Ticaret (trading division), SOCAR Depolama (storage division for petroleum products and liquefied gas), and Petkim RES (division responsible for the activities of the wind power plant).

The STAR refinery was put into operation on October 19, 2018 and was initially designed to process various types of oil such as Azeri Light, Kerkuk and Urals. Currently, the plant can process over 20 types of oil, but the most suitable for it are heavier grades.

SOCAR invested almost $7 billion in the construction of the STAR refinery.