SOCAR lets contract for GPC gas, petchem complex

State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) subsidiary SOCAR GPC has let a contract to Axens SA, Rueil-Malmaison, France, to provide technology for a butene unit at its proposed grassroots gas processing and petrochemical complex to be built in Garadagh, Azerbaijan, 15 km south of Baku.

Axens will license its proprietary AlphaButol technology for production of high-purity 1-butene through ethylene dimerization at a 32,000-tonne/year unit to be installed at the complex, the service provider said.

A value of the contract was not disclosed.

SOCAR previously let a contract for the GPC project to Technip SA, Paris, to provide licensing of its proprietary ethylene and Cryomax NGL-recovery process technologies, as well as for delivery of process and engineering design for all gas and petrochemical units to be installed at the complex, with the exception of a planned polyethylene unit (OGJ Online, Jan. 5, 2016).

GPC project

As proposed, the integrated gas processing and petrochemical complex at Garadagh will include the following units:

• A single-train gas processing plant with a processing capacity of 10-billion cu m/year.

• A steam cracker equipped to produce 610,000 tonnes/year of ethylene and 120,000 tpy of propylene, the latter of which will be delivered about 30 km north of Baku to SOCAR Polymer LLC’s operations at Sumgait for production of polypropylene.

• A swing polyethylene unit with a production capacity of 600,000 tpy.

• Other unidentified units.

Launched in late 2016 as part of SOCAR’s ongoing plan to maximize integration of Azerbaijan’s upstream-midstream-downstream oil and gas value chain, the complex intends to help eliminate feedstock supply risks by processing natural and associated gases delivered from local production fields into purified natural gas for domestic end users, as well into feedstock for production of high-quality polymers for export destinations in Turkey, the European Union, China, and elsewhere, according to SOCAR GPC.

The company said it will take final investment decision on the project in the next 15-18 months, or after it receives full results of development and design works currently under way.

If approved, the complex would take 48 months to build, with tentative startup of all units scheduled for some time in 2022.

Contact Robert Brelsford at

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