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12. January 2019

TURKEY: Socar and BP explore the creation of a new petrochemicals joint venture in Turkey

BP and Socar Turkey on 20 December 2018 announced that they have signed a heads of agreement (HoA) to evaluate the creation of a joint venture that would build and operate a world-scale petrochemicals complex in Turkey. The proposed facility, in Aliaga in western Turkey, would produce 1.25 million t/y of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), 840,000 t/y paraxylene (PX) and 340,000 t/y benzene. Following the signing of the HoA, BP and Socar Turkey now expect to undertake design work for the facility, which would allow for the integration of feedstock supplies from the nearby new Star refinery and Petkim petrochemicals complex, both owned Socar Turkey.

Vagif Aliyev, Chairman of the Board of Socar Turkey, said: “We entered the Turkish market in 2008 with the acquisition of Petkim and since then have realized giant projects such as the Star refinery, Tanap, Petlim Container Terminal and Petkim Wind Power Station. The area covering all of Socar Turkey’s projects in Aliaga has recently become the first Private Industrial Zone in Turkey. The immediate proximity to the feedstock and infrastructure provided by SOCAR’s other facilities will contribute significantly to the competitive power of the new facility. Expanding our immense refining and petrochemical complex, built at the gateway to world markets on the Aegean coast of Turkey, we aim to continue to contribute to the economies of the two brother countries – Turkey and Azerbaijan.”

Luis Sierra, CEO for BP’s global aromatics unit said: “If taken forward, this would be the largest integrated PTA, PX and aromatics complex in the Western Hemisphere and BP’s first major new aromatics platform since our Zhuhai site in China opened nearly 20 years ago. The combination of BP’s leading proprietary technology and integration with Socar’s new refinery could create an outstanding platform to serve Turkey’s growing polyester packaging and textiles industry. We look forward to drawing on the strengths of both BP and Socar to explore the creation of a highly competitive facility.” BP and Socar expect to work towards a potential final investment decision in 2019, which could result in start-up of the new plant in 2023.

“This proposed new investment is a ‘win-win’ situation for both Socar and Turkey. It will not only increase our share in Turkey’s petrochemical markets, but it will also help to reduce Turkey’s imports of these products, hence reducing the foreign trade deficit. All of our projects in Turkey are planned with this goal in mind,” said Socar Turkey CEO Zaur Gahramanov. “This potential major new direct investment would be our first equity investment in petrochemicals in Turkey, a country where BP has now been present for over 100 years. Turkey operates as a bridging country between the East and West, and between producers and consumers, and its fast-growing economy offers attractive investment opportunities,” said Mick Stump, president of BP Turkey.

Source: BP website, London, UK; 20 Dec 2018
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)

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