SOCAR restarts unit at Baku refinery

State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) has restarted delayed coking operations at its Heydar Aliyev refinery at Baku in Azerbaijan following maintenance.

As of Apr. 13, the refinery’s No. 43 delayed coking unit has resumed full operation following winter maintenance, SOCAR said.

Maintenance activities included a series of repairs and replacements at the unit, including work on a damaged reactor, purified water lines, and exhaust steam lines.

Other unidentified maintenance work also was executed during the unit’s shutdown, according to the company.

SOCAR previously completed a maintenance overhaul of the delayed coking plant during 2013, the company said in a Dec. 19, 2013, release.

A $1 billion modernization program currently is under way at the Baku refinery 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, Mar. 8, 2016; Feb. 11, 2016; Nov. 3, 2015; Sept. 18, 2015; Dec. 29, 2014).

Once completed in 2019, Heydar Aliyev’s modernization and upgrading program will lift crude processing capacity at the refinery to over 7 million tpy from its current 6 million-tpy capacity as well as result in 100% production of fuels that meet Euro-5 quality standards by 2020.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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