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SOCAR Turkey to Build 2nd Petrochem. Facility in Izmir

SOCAR Turkey will build a second petrochemical facility in the Aliaga peninsula of Izmir, requiring an investment of around $2 billion, to serve the domestic market, the general manager of SOCAR Turkey's subsidiary, Petkim, told Anadolu Agency.

Turkey needs new petrochemical facilities as the demand for goods grows by around 7 percent per year, Anar Mammadov, the general manager explained.

He stated that their planned second petrochemical facility will also contribute to a reduction in Turkey's current account deficit, although it has not yet been determined which products will be produced at this new facility. "Petrochemical products create 30-35 percent of the total current account deficit," he underlined.

Mammadov explained that Turkey's high import volume of 80 percent for petrochemical products also causes serious financial problems for the country. "Turkey needs new petrochemical investments but the supply of raw materials is a problem. Petkim currently imports raw materials from Russia, Greece and Romania," he said.

However, with the launch of the STAR Refinery this October, SOCAR Turkey's biggest investment and the country's biggest refinery, Petkim will cut all imports and use STAR's products, Mammadov said.

The STAR Refinery is SOCAR Turkey's biggest investment in the country at a cost of $6.3 billion.

The results of the ongoing feasibility studies for the second facility are expected to be clear in 2019 after which an investment decision will be submitted to the Turkish government.

Petkim - located in Aliaga region of Izmir - was privatized for $2 billion in 2008.

"Since 2008, we invested $760 million more in our facilities and are currently producing 3.6 million tons of petrochemical products. This corresponds to 20 percent of Turkey's needs for petrochemical goods," he said.

Mammadov said Petkim sells 60 percent of its production to the internal market while the remaining 40 percent constitute imports to more than 50 countries.

The yearly sales total between $1 and $1.5 billion, he informed.

The facility is planned for construction in the same region as Petkim's petrochemical facility where it can share some of the same infrastructures and will ensure considerable cost savings, he said.

(Anadolu Agency, 04/06/2018)