BAKU, May 23 (Reuters) - Azerbaijan’s only oil refinery plans to import 110,000 tonnes of A-92 petrol in October while it halts production for a month for routine maintenance, state energy company SOCAR’s vice president told Reuters on Thursday.
The refinery, which is owned by SOCAR, will halt production from Oct 1. The company’s petrochemicals unit, Azerkhimia, will also halt production for 40 days starting Oct 1. Routine maintenance at the refinery was also conducted last year.
“It’s not ruled out that purchases (of A-92 petrol) would be made from Russia and Turkmenistan, although it will depend on prices and some other options might be reviewed,” Davud Mammadov said in an interview.
The refinery and Azerkhimia fully satisfied the country’s oil refining and petrochemical products needs at present, he said.
SOCAR plans to complete modernising the refinery by 2021 and start a new oil processing line at the plant, allowing it to increase oil processing to 7.5 million tonnes annually in 2023-2024 from 6 million tonnes at present, Mammadov said.
“Azerbaijan intends to increase condensate production at such fields as Absheron, Umid, Babek and others by that date, which will increase loading at the refinery,” he said.
SOCAR plans to process 6.1 million tonnes of oil at the refinery in 2019. Last year the volume was 6.14 million tonnes.
Azerbaijan mainly exported two types of petroleum products - liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and diesel fuel, Mammadov said.
Azerbaijan plans to sell around 11,000 tonnes of LPG and up to 400,000 tonnes of diesel fuel on the world market in 2019, of which 8,000 tonnes of LPG and 200,000 tonnes of diesel fuel have already been exported.
Mammadov said that buyers of diesel fuel were Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea countries, while LPG is being exported to Georgia and Afghanistan.
LPG was being delivered to Afghanistan by ferry across the Caspian Sea via Turkmenistan, as well as by road through Iran.
“Azerbaijan does not sell oil products to Iran, since Iran is self-sufficient,” he said.
Mammadov said that SOCAR would increase production of polypropylene and polyethylene at its new SOCAR Polymer enterprise this year, bringing total volume to 100,000 tonnes.
“Commissioning works at the polypropylene production plant has been completed and it has already produced about 55,000 tonnes of polypropylene, while commissioning of high density polyethylene producing line is nearing completion,” he said.
He added that SOCAR Polymer was focused on the markets of Russia, Turkey, Eastern Europe and China.
“At this stage, textile polypropylene brand RAFİA is mainly produced at the plant, which is exported to Turkey,” Mammadov said. (Writing by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Deepa Babington)