With expanding Turkish-Azerbaijani energy cooperation, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) is preparing a new billion-dollar energy investment in Turkey in cooperation with British Petroleum (BP).
SOCAR's Turkey Chairman Vagif Aliyev stressed the long-standing cultural bonds and brotherhood between Turkey and Azerbaijan which contribute to the economic cooperation of both countries. Aliyev emphasized that one of the major projects of this cooperation is the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and that about 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas was carried to Turkey via TANAP as of April 1.
On April 15, the second phase of the pipeline also reached the final stage and gas transmission started for testing purposes.
The gas transmission capacity of the project can be increased to 24 billion cubic meters first and to 31 cubic meters with additional investments later. Currently, SOCAR Turkey is evaluating the opportunities of cooperation with the Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ). Recalling that the U.S. administration will not renew sanctions waivers for Turkey as of May 2 if it continues to import oil from Iran, Aliyev said: "TANAP is crucial for Turkey's energy supply security as well as for economic cooperation. We believe that Turkey has taken the necessary measures in line with both the global developments and its own policies. In any case it needs us; we are always working with Turkey."
The SOCAR chairman noted that the company's investments continue to focus on the Turkish petrochemical and refining sectors with the new $1.8 billion petrochemical project.
Underlining that when the planned facility comes into operation, it will eliminate Turkey's import of 1 million tons of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), Vagif said they will start producing the 800,000 tons of imported p-Xylene (PX) products in Turkey and aim to launch the new facility by 2023. Aliyev further said they are cooperating with BP on a new investment they will make in the Turkish petrochemical industry, adding that the foundations of the facility will be laid at the end of this year or in 2020.
According to Aliyev, the fact that the plant will be located very close to raw material and infrastructure resources obtained from other SOCAR facilities will provide a great advantage in terms of competition. "With large refinery and petrochemical plants built in Aliağa, we will continue to contribute to the economies of Turkey and Azerbaijan, two brother countries. We will also unabatedly continue our investments so that Turkey achieves a strong position among global energy players," he said. Stressing that Petkim, the sole integrated petrochemical plant in Turkey, can meet only 20 percent of the market, Aliyev said, "We have a very important opportunity to increase this share. For this reason, petrochemical and refining industries have the lion's share in our investments."
Aliyev remarked that they have been evaluating opportunities to establish a large distribution network in Turkey's natural gas and fuel oil sectors, but not rushing to do it.