SOCAR consolidates Azerbaijani refining operations

State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) plans to shutter and subsequently merge processing activities at its Azerneftyag refinery with those of its nearby Heydar Aliyev (formerly New Baku) refinery at Baku in Azerbaijan.

In compliance with a company order issued on Dec. 24, operations at the Azerneftyag refinery will be terminated as of Jan. 1, 2015, with the plant’s production installations to be merged with and operate in the future as part of the Heydar Aliyev refinery, SOCAR said.

The decision to close the refinery and unify its Baku refining operations comes as part of SOCAR’s overall plan to improve corporate structure and optimize business processes by consolidating its refining business under an integrated management scheme, the company said.

The move is intended to eliminate economically inefficient production activities and management structures associated with the operation of two separate refineries, SOCAR said.

The company did not disclose details regarding either the specific production activities from Azerneftyag to be integrated with the Heydar Aliyev plant or a definite timeframe for the merger.

During 2013, the Azerneftyag refinery processed 2.3 million tonnes/year of crude oil, according to SOCAR’s latest annual report.

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