SOCAR lets contract for Baku refinery modernization program

State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) has let a contract to Amec Foster Wheeler (AFW) for work related to the ongoing modernization and expansion of the Heydar Aliyev refinery at Baku in Azerbaijan.

In alliance with SOCAR Foster Wheeler Engineering, AFW will provide front-end engineering design (FEED) for development of a number of installations as well as integration of technologies by other service providers as part of SOCAR’s investment program to increase capacity and improve the quality of fuel production at the refinery, AFW said.

AFW specifically will deliver FEED services for the following processing units as part of the project: diesel hydrotreating, isomerization, methyl tertiary butyl ether, fluid catalytic cracking gasoline treatment, sour-water stripping, amine treatment, and sulfur recovery.

The project also will cover FEED services for the revamp of existing installations at the refinery, including its crude and vacuum distillation units, AFW said.

AFW is scheduled to complete its scope of work under the contract during first-quarter 2017, with the overall phased modernization program at Heydar Aliyev due to be completed sometime in early 2020, the service provider said.

A value of the FEED contract was not disclosed.

Previously scheduled for completion in 2019 (OGJ Online, Apr. 15, 2016), Heydar Aliyev’s modernization and upgrading program will lift crude processing capacity at the refinery to more than 7 million tonnes/year from its current 6 million-tpy capacity as well as result in 100% production of fuels that meet Euro-5 quality standards by 2020 (OGJ Online, Mar. 8, 2016; Nov. 3, 2015; Sept. 18, 2015).

The $1-billion modernization program comes as part of SOCAR’s plan to eliminate economically inefficient production activities and management structures associated with the operation of two separate refineries following the Jan. 1, 2015, shutdown and subsequent merger of processing activities at the company’s Azerneftyag plant with those of the nearby Heydar Aliyev refinery (OGJ Online, Oct. 23, 2015; Dec. 29, 2014).

Contact Robert Brelsford at

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