Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 12/07/2012 -- The latest Azerbaijan Petrochemicals Report reflects our expectation that there will be long-term growth in capacity, but cautions that plans remain vague and there is no firm confirmation on proposed projects and potential partners. The report examines the country's strengths and weaknesses and assesses potential growth areas over the medium term. It also looks at government policy, which is focused intensively on developing the non-oil sector.
The government is determined to develop downstream sectors, as it is aware that the country has considerable long-term potential. Partly in order to address lack of feedstock, Azerbaijan is planning to build an integrated oil and gas processing plant and petrochemicals complex at Sangachal, including a 300,000 barrels per day (b/d) refinery. An investment decision is still pending with a completion date set at 2018-2020, which is beyond BMI's five-year forecast period.
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Azerbaijan will need to address major infrastructural constraints if it is to become a significant petrochemicals producer. Capacity utilisation at existing plants is restricted by lack of investment and maintenance, as well as the predominance of old and environmentally damaging technology. Projects outlined by the economy ministry are formulated to take into consideration prospective export markets. However, the industry is highly underdeveloped, and there is a gap between government ambition and the volumes of potential feedstock. Output has in the past been undermined by the rising cost of electricity, which state-run chemicals company Azerkimya has been unable to afford, meaning it has been reliant on the government giving it a financial lifeline. This demonstrates the lack of efficiency in the petrochemicals industry and its continuing dependence on state subsidies.
Over the last quarter, BMI has revised the following forecasts/views:
- The expansion of the petrochemicals sector over the medium-term will focus on Azerbaijani methanol producer Azerbaijan Methanol Company (AzMeCo), which is planning to export about 90% of its output when it completes its US$360mn plant in Q113. The plant will have a capacity of 560,000 tonnes per annum (tpa), raising methanol production in Azerbaijan to 720,000tpa.
- The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (Socar) is planning two fertiliser plants, each with 700,000tpa of urea capacity. One will be built in Azerbaijan and one in Georgia, with construction due to begin in mid-2013 and be completed by end-2016. The objective is for Azerbaijan to raise its fertiliser exports to 1mn tpa.
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