The State Oil Company of Azerbaijani Republic's (SOCAR) Turkish refinery will release its first products to the market in January and is expected to reach full capacity in the beginning of next year.
The $6.3 billion facility, located on the Aliağa peninsula of the Aegean city of Izmir, was launched in Oct. 19 with a ceremony with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev in attendance.
The refinery is a subsidiary of the Azerbaijani energy company SOCAR's Turkish branch, SOCAR Turkey.
SOCAR Turkey Aegean Refinery (STAR) General Manager Mesut İlter, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that units have been undergoing rigorous test operations then put into operation after approval.
He said they have not faced any major problems yet during the test operations of the refinery, and they are about to finalize the test procedures.
"We have already started to produce our first products and plan to release them to the market in January," İlter said.
The facility will produce around 5 million tons of diesel, 1.6 million tons of jet fuel, 1.5 million tons of naphtha, 1 million tons of reformate, 700,000 tons of petroleum coke, 300,000 tons of LPG and 200,000 tons of Sulphur at its full capacity.
The total output of STAR is expected to decrease Turkey's current account deficit by $1.5 billion per year by substituting the refinery imports with domestic production.
Turkey meets nearly all of its oil and natural gas demand with expensive energy imports, which are the main contributor to its current account deficit.
"We want to sell our first batch of products to Petkim, which is our sister company. It is a bit symbolic for us," he said.
Petkim is a petrochemical company and is the subsidiary of SOCAR Turkey in the Aliağa peninsula of Izmir.
The total investment for the refinery stands at $6.3 billion as 90 percent of the total figure has already been realized, İlter said.
"We will increase STAR's storage capacity with additional investment, which will be completed by 2021. Then, the total investment will reach up to $7 billion," he explained.
İlter added that they also completed the employment process for the refinery, and the total number of employees that will work at the facility is 1,100 people.