The international forum, Caspian and Central Asia Downstream. Trading, Logistics, Refining, Petrochemicals, took place at Boulevard Hotel in Baku on April 23 – 26, brought together 250 participants from 30 countries and featured 45 speakers from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine. This year’s event also commemorated the 95th anniversary of National Leader Heydar Aliyev.
The regional industry meeting point was introduced in 2016 by Azerbaijan State Oil Company SOCAR, with the support of the Baku Higher Oil School and the Confidence Capital Group, a British petroleum industry event organizer, to address the need for up-to-date, trustworthy, original-source industry news, analysis and information sharing among the business, regulators and industry community. The initiative has been gaining momentum ever since, as the Forum’s international attendance nearly doubled in 2018 as compared to 2017. SOCAR Polymer has become one of the strategic partners supporting the event.
The 2018 Forum was streamlined into four sessions, to review oil refining capacities in the region, the upgrade works refineries are undergoing or plan to undergo in near future, and the impact the temporary stopover in their operations are having on the regional markets, as well as feedstock sources and export routes for regional gas projects, pipeline capacities and infrastructure, seaports and railroad transportation, bulk petrochemical production capacity building and global petrochemicals price trends, as well as the need to adapt emerging IT technologies to raise production and management efficiency. Logistics appeared on the Forum’s agenda for the first time.
Progress of large-scale Azerbaijani petrochemical projects under development was brought to the attention of the audience, along with the update on the capacious GPC venture. Among the high-profile Azerbaijan speakers were Energy minister Parviz Shakhbazov, SOCAR First Vice president Khoshbakht Yusifzade, Rector of Baku Higher Oil School Elmar Gasimov, BP-Azerbaijan Vice president Bakhtiyar Aslanbayli, Carbamide plant Director Khayal Jafarov, Azerkimya Deputy Executive Director Orkhan Jafarov and Director General of SOCAR Methanol plant Elnur Mustafayev.
Speaking about SOCAR Polymer’s activity over the past year, Deputy General Manager Fuad Ahmadov reported on the status of construction and commissioning works at the company’s Polypropylene and High-Density Polyethylene plants in Sumgayit. “The detailed engineering and procurement activities for the PP plant have been 100% completed, with the construction works having reached the 98.1% mark. The overall progress of works at the Polypropylene Plant reached 99.2% in early April. The plant will be launched in June this year.” F.Ahmadov added that the tax exemptions, infrastructural support and other incentives provided to the residents of the Sumgayit Chemical Industrial Park have brought SOCAR Polymer $100 mln USD in savings. The Deputy General Manager also emphasized the benefits of the SOCAR Polymer project to the economy and the people of Azerbaijan.
To tally an intensive three-day information swapping and processing, the delegates visited the Heydar Aliyev refinery in Baku and the petrochemical plants under construction in the chemical-industrial park in Sumgayit.