SOCAR advances modernization of Baku refinery

State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) is planning to add a grassroots bitumen plant as part of program designed to modernize and expand operations at the company’s Heydar Aliyev (formerly New Baku) refinery at Baku in Azerbaijan.

SOCAR has let a contract to Austria-based Porner Ingenieur GMBH to provide basic design works for the proposed 400,000-tonne/year bitumen plant, with Fluor Corp. to serve as contractor on the project, SOCAR said.

Porner is scheduled to begin work on the project in the near future, said SOCAR, which disclosed no further details regarding either of the recent contracts.

The company said the Heydar Aliyev refinery’s modernization and upgrading program, which will be implemented in stages during 2015-19, will result in 100% production of fuels that meet Euro-5 quality standards as well as high-quality raw feedstock to be transported via pipeline to an associated ethylene and polyethylene plant operated by SOCAR subsidiary Azerikimya Production Union.

The upgrading program follows recent shutdown and subsequent merger of processing activities at its Azerneftyag refinery with those of the nearby Heydar Aliyev refinery as a way eliminate economically inefficient production activities and management structures associated with the operation of two separate refineries (OGJ Online, Dec. 29, 2014).

Operations at the Azerneftyag refinery ended on Jan. 1, with some of the plant’s still-unidentified production installations to gradually be implemented into operations at Heydar Aliyev.

Earlier in the year, local media outlets reported that the modernization and integration program at Heydar Aliyev would raise crude processing capacity at the refinery to over 7 million tpy from its current 6 million-tpy capacity.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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