As part of the modernization project of the Heydar Aliyev Baku Oil Refinery of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), preparatory work for the commissioning of four new installations will begin in the next two months, Report informs referring to the refinery’s press release.
The launch of a new flare facility, steam and water demineralization plants, a new water-cooling plant and related infrastructure will provide the fuel needed to start production at the new processing plants.
Despite the existing restrictions in the construction sector in 2020-2021, as a result of the measures taken, significant progress was made in the implementation of the project (25% from the beginning of 2021 and about 45% during the pandemic). In general, by the end of October this year, the overall progress on the current stage of the project amounted to more than 85%. It is expected that by the end of the year, all reconstruction work at the current stage of the project will be 90% complete. Currently, preparatory and commissioning works have begun at the refinery, while active preparations are underway for overhaul and periodic repairs, which will be carried out at the refinery in 2022.
As the next step with the launch of other auxiliary units - a new hydrogen production unit, a hydrogen enrichment unit, a sour water stripping unit, a sulfur production unit and, finally, a diesel hydrotreating unit, the refinery will already begin production of diesel fuel according to Euro 5 standards. Work on the start of production of the Euro 5 diesel fuel is planned to be completed in mid-2022, at the same time the main units will be launched. Over the next year, it is planned to put into operation new installations necessary for the production of higher quality AI-92 gasoline and, finally, AI-92 and AI-95 gasoline meeting the Euro 5 standard.
Retail fuel is usually produced in advance to ensure energy security, and gas filling station networks purchase it in advance and sell it gradually. Therefore, the complete replacement of the sold fuel with the fuel produced in accordance with the new quality standard will take place gradually. This process can continue for several months after the start of production of fuel that meets the Euro 5 standard.
The modernization of the refinery from 2020 was entrusted to SOCAR Downstream in order to more efficiently manage the project. The Heydar Aliyev Baku Oil Refinery of SOCAR, being the only oil refinery in the region, along with meeting local demand for AI-92 gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel, supplies SOCAR’s petrochemical enterprises in Azerbaijan with raw materials.
Some of the products manufactured at the plant are exported. Of great importance for Azerbaijan’s industry is modernization and reconstruction work carried out in order to increase the production capacity of the refinery, provide the country with high-quality fuel that meets the Euro 5 standard, stable supply of Azerikimya Production Union with raw materials and increase the export potential of petroleum products.