SOCAR lets contract for Baku refinery

State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) has let a contract to KT-Kinetics Technology SPA, a subsidiary of Maire Tecnimont SPA, Milan, to provide technology licensing for a unit to be built under the company’s ongoing modernization and expansion program at its Heydar Aliyev, formerly New Baku, refinery at Baku in Azerbaijan.

As part of the contract, signed on Feb. 11 in Baku, KT will deliver proprietary technology for a new 60,000-tonne/year sulfur recovery unit (SRU), SOCAR said.

A value of the contract was not disclosed.

This latest contract follows a series of project awards for work related to the refinery’s overhaul, which once completed, will increase the refinery’s crude processing capacity to about 7.5 million tpy from its current 6 million-tpy capacity and result in 100% production of fuels conforming to Euro 5 standards (OGJ Online, Dec. 7, 2015; Oct. 23, 2015; Sept. 18, 2015).

The refinery also will be equipped to produce high-quality raw feedstock for an associated ethylene and polyethylene plant operated by SOCAR subsidiary Azerikimya Production Union.

The refinery revamp program follows the Jan. 1, 2015, shutdown and subsequent merger of processing activities at SOCAR’s Azerneftyag refinery with those of the nearby Heydar Aliyev refinery as part of the company’s plan to eliminate economically inefficient production activities and management structures associated with the operation of two separate refineries (OGJ Online, Dec. 29, 2014).

Unit restart

In addition to announcing the SRU technology contract, SOCAR also confirmed it has restarted Heydar Aliyev’s No. 3 catalytic reforming unit (CRU) after a brief maintenance shutdown.

Following a series of extensive repairs completed at the unit in early February, the CRU has resumed normal operations, SOCAR said on Feb. 11.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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