​Zaur Gahramanov: Totally 7.5 billion USD spent on Petkim, Petlim, STAR and TANAP so far - INTERVIEW

We will not reduce our share in Petkim Holding less than 51%

Baku. 2 June. REPORT.AZ/ Report News Agency presents an interview with the CEO of SOCAR Turkey Energy, Zaur Gahramanov.

- Talks were being made on attracting funds to the Petkojen project. Have they already been completed? What amount of the funds is considered to be involved in the project?

- Talks on attracting funds to this project were held with Turkish banks, the talks have already been completed and now we are considering the proposals that we received. There is no problem in terms of financing. We can get a maximum of 1 billion USD from the Turkish banks for this project. There are some proposals. Turkish banks are interested in this project. However, if the equipment is to be from the United States, we can involve American Eximbanking, if it is from China, then we will engage Chinese banks. This issue will be considered and the most beneficial proposals from the point of interest rate will be evaluated.

- When the construction will start?

- We are conducting assessment of the project in terms of energy security of Petkim peninsula. First of all, we need to ensure energy security of STAR factory. When the plant starts to function, it shall be provided with the electricity power supply. Therefore, the re-design engineering work is done. The work will begin this year. The active phase of the project will start next year.

- To what extent has the work been done so far at the STAR plant and how much has been already spent?

- 65% of the whole work has been completed on the construction of STAR plant. So far, 3 billion USD had been spent.

- What about the Petlim port? When will the second phase of the port be completed?

- The first phase of work on Petlim port is completed. We want the official opening to be at the state level. It depends on programmes of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey. Maersk's APM Terminals company is conducting the handover procedure over the port's launching. The work on the second phase of the Petlim port will be completed next year. Construction work on the second phase is carried out along the schedule.

- What about the construction of TANAP? How many units have been completed so far?

- More than 550 km have been done on Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) so far. The work to Eskisehir has been completed up to 45% so far.

- How much has already been spent on projects in Turkey so far?

- To date, a total of 7.5 billion USD has been spend by SOCAR, partners and loans on Petkim, Petlim, STAR and TANAP projects so far.

- SOCAR has stated its interest in purchasing shares after OMV putting up 'Petrol office' on sale. Have talks been held in this regard?

- OMV company has not delivered information to the market regarding the asset. The information should be provided in June, but it will be slightly delayed. Now, information should be given until September. We will review this issue while getting the information. It is one of the interesting projects for us. But if it is profitable for us, we will join the process. We have to create a network of distributors for STAR plant in Turkey. We will carry out it either through acquirement of 'Petrol Office' or by ourselves. We are reviewing all options.

- Recently, construction of 8 'SOCAR CNG' networks has been completed in Turkey. Is increase of CNG stations within a year planned?

- This project will continue. We consider this project successful. Increase in CNG number doesn't depend only on SOCAR. Only 2-3 companies are engaged in this activity in Turkey. This initiative is widespread in Europe. Europeans want to use CNG, which is more green than diesel or petrol. Infrastructure should be established in Turkey. If CNG station is constructed in one area, another station should be installed after a certain distance. Network should be established. Not everything depends on us in this issue. Its development will depend on general Turkish conjuncture.

- When the issue on 'Petkim Holding' purchase of 7-9% share from STAR plant will be completed?

- The process to finish. Agreement has been reached. 'Petkim Holding' is a public company. The company has 40,000 shareholders along with us. Therefore, the process is slightly delayed, but there is an agreement in principle.

- Recently, 'SOCAR Turkey' put 5,32% share at 'Petkim Holding' on exchange. Is sale of additional shares considered?

- We has purchased 51% while privatizing 'Petkim Holding'. Then, during the second privatization 10,32% as well as 5% acquired on the exchange. We always estimated additional interests (15%) as a buffer. 'Petkim Holding' is working very effectively. It has ended last year with a net profit. We have achieved very good results in the first quarter of this year. Company shares have increased. Additional shares are traded depending on market conjuncture. Currently, stocks are high. Therefore, we sell them and direct towards other investments in Turkey. This is a normal process. At the moment, our share in 'Petkim Holding' is only 56-57%. We will never reduce our share in 'Petkim Holding' lower than 51%. It is a strategic asset for us and one of the most important assets in Turkey. Without 'Petkim', there would be no other projects in Turkey. 'Petkim Holding' was an entrance to Turkey for us.

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