The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic's (SOCAR) Turkey Aegean Refinery (STAR) in İzmir's Aliağa district will be inaugurated today.
The plant took seven years to build and is expected to reduce Turkey's annual foreign trade deficit by at least $1.5 billion.
The refinery, which constitutes a significant share of SOCAR investments in Turkey, will be inaugurated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Azeri counterpart İlham Aliyev.
The $6.3-billion refinery is the largest single-location real sector investment in Turkey's history and will be one of the biggest petroleum and gas operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The refinery was built by SOCAR, which began investing in Turkey after it acquired the country's leading petrochemical company Petkim in 2008 for $2 billion. Construction at the refinery began in 2011.
Meanwhile, STAR started operations at its first facility in early August. The first crude oil cargo ship, Absheron, carrying 80,000 tons of feedstock from Azerbaijan, arrived at the 2,400-hectare facility on the Aliağa Peninsula.
Turkey CEO of SOCAR, Zaur Gahramanov, had confirmed the arrival of the first shipment and said production would start at the end of October.
The refinery is expected to cut Turkey's current account deficit by $1.5 billion. It also looks to fully eliminate Turkey's need to import jet fuel, which will correspond to 7-8 percent of its total production. The refinery is also expected to reduce liquefied petroleum gas LPG imports to 70 percent from 79 percent.
With an annual production capacity of 10 million tons of crude oil, the refinery will also produce 1.6 million tons of naphtha, and 1.6 million tons of jet fuel. Some 4.5 million tons of low-sulfur diesel that the Petkim refinery needs will also be produced at STAR.
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