SOCAR advances Baku refinery modernization works

State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) has commissioned a water-cooling unit as part of the ongoing modernization and expansion of the Heydar Aliyev refinery at Baku in Azerbaijan.

Designed to ensure a continuous and reliable supply of cold water to refinery process equipment, the 7,000-cu m/day unit was started up on June 7, SOCAR said.

Alongside eliminating the refinery’s dependence on outside providers for water-cooling services, the unit also will help improve qualities and minimize losses of finished products produced at the site, the company said.

Built by Hamon Thermal Europe SA of France, the water-cooling system was installed to replace the refinery’s former cooling equipment, which failed to meet demands of the plant during the warmer months of the year (OGJ Online, July 18, 2014).

SOCAR said it also continues to progress on reconstruction works at the refinery’s 779,840-tonne/year No. 54 amine regeneration unit and upgrades to the catalytic reforming unit, which according to the company’s latest annual report, was operating at a capacity of about 600,000 tpy.

By 2020, SOCAR’s Heydar Aliyev modernization and upgrading program aims to expand the refinery’s crude processing capacity to about 7.5 million tpy from its current 6 million-tpy capacity as well as enable 100% production of Euro 5-quality fuels and high-quality raw feedstock for SOCAR subsidiary Azerikimya Production Union’s nearby petrochemical plant (OGJ Online, Sept. 14, 2016; Mar. 16, 2016).

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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