“The Contract of the Century” signed by National Leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev laid the basis of a new oil strategy for the country.
SOCAR, the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic started the cooperation with the global oil and gas companies and turned SOCAR into a world scale transnational oil and gas corporation. In the past two decades SOCAR has delivered a number of successful mega-projects.
SOCAR has launched GPC Project to maximize added value of the upstream-midstream-downstream oil and gas chain and create a cutting-edge standard processing industry in Azerbaijan.
The primary purpose of the project is to provide the end users in the country with purified natural gas and ensure production of high value added polymers.
Under the SOCAR GPC Project, gas processing and petrochemical plants will be built in Garadagh, 15 km south of Baku.
The capacity of a single train gas processing plant will be 10 billion m3 per annum. Natural and associated gases will be delivered from local fields thus eliminating feedstock supply risks. A gas processing plant will remove CO2 and other toxic components. Аfter extraction of C2+ fractions which is a petrochemical feedstock the purified natural gas will be fed into the national gas distribution network.
A petrochemical plant will comprise of a steam cracker, swing polyethylene unit and other units. The plant will produce approximately 600 000 t of polyethylene and 120 000 t of propylene per annum. The propylene feedstocks will be delivered to SOCAR Polymer for production of polypropylene in Sumgait.
Polyethylene and polypropylene produced in Azerbaijan will meet the highest international quality standards. According to marketing studies carried out by leading research companies, it is planned to export the produced polymers to Turkey, the EU, China and other countries. Major volumes of the products will be exported to Turkey with its rapidly emerging market. Here, SOCAR will also take advantage of the existing sales chain of Petkim, which is owned by SOCAR and controlling up to 30% of Turkish petrochemical market.
The project development stage will last 15-18 months. During this stage, SOCAR will finalize engineering works, negotiations on procurement, construction and financing issues. Thus sufficient information will be available for Final Investment Decision. Upon making a final decision, construction works will be launched and last for 48 months. The plants are scheduled to be commissioned in 2022.
SOCAR GPC Project is the beginning of a new era in development of Azerbaijan’s petrochemical industry. With implementation of this project Azerbaijan will become a global player in the petrochemical industry.