The new $6.3BN STAR refinery (SOCAR Turkey Aegean Refinery) is a major breakthrough after the last refinery opened in Turkey way back in 1975. The refinery was inaugurated on October 19th at the Aliaga peninsula by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev.
Image Credits: Anadolu Agency Website
In his opening remarks, Erdogan highlighted that “This refinery is aimed at saving around $1.5bn annually in oil product imports and the reduction of foreign dependence for oil products.”
The commissioning of the STAR refinery comes at a particularly important point in time. On account of the economic crisis which saw the Turkish lira lose 40 percent of its value over the first eight months of the year, Turkey has been desperately trying to reduce its import dependency to cut down the nation’s sizeable current account deficit.
Further, Erdogan hailed the facility as Turkey’s giant leap forward in meeting its energy demands. Built by SOCAR Turkey, a subsidiary of Azerbaijan’s SOCAR national oil company, the total refining capacity of the STAR refinery will be 10 million tons. It will produce 1.6 million tons of naphtha, 1.6 million tons of aviation fuel, 4.8 million tons of low-sulfur diesel, 700,000 tons of petroleum coke, 420,000 tons of mixed xylene and 160,000 tons of sulfur.
The refinery investment reflects the growing partnership between Turkey and Azerbaijan in the field of oil, gas, and petrochemicals. On a global level, the bilateral relations between both sides demonstrate friendship and fraternity and such grand projects would certainly strengthen their unity.
Underlining the bilateral mantra of ‘one nation, two states’, the leaders of both the nations acknowledged that “the stronger Turkey is, the stronger we are”. With the STAR refinery, the strategic dimension of their bilateral cooperation has become stronger. Erdogan announced that the refinery is to be the first recipient of Turkey’s new ‘Strategic Investment Incentive Certificate’, a license aimed at facilitating further investment.
The future looks promising for Turkey and Azerbaijan with the STAR Refinery and time will further unfold the significant potential gains for both the economies.
This article has been researched and prepared by Energy Dais – The world’s First Fullstream Oil & Gas Solutions Platform.