Azerbaijan in the near future may become a leading manufacturer of chemical products. Once the Azerkimya chemical company is incorporated into the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) in 2010, the chemical industry in Azerbaijan has improved significantly which led to the phenomenal growth of chemical production.
Everyone knew that a few years earlier the country's chemical complex underwent unpleasant periods of regression, due to failure of both morally and technically obsolete enterprises to meet the changing market, its new requirements and conditions of work. The gap between investment needs of the industry and its income was too high to make the necessary upgrades and bring it to international standards. SOCAR assumed a commitment to take the chemical industry out of difficult situation and began to do it in real earnest.
According to statistics from the State Committee of Azerbaijan, in 2011 production growth in the chemicals sector amounted to 27.1 percent, as of January 1, 2012 the value of commodity output was estimated at 186.7 million manat. At the same time, the production of rubber products, and from it grew by 47.2 percent - to 69.3 million manat compared to 43.7 million manat in 2010.
The growth of chemical production is accompanied also by an increase in export volumes. According to recent statistics, in January-February, exports of chemical products compared to the same period last year increased by 2.4 times, the share of chemical products in total exports amounted to 0.64 per cent. It should be noted that the Azerkimya increased the export of the main types of products: polyethylene, propylene, isopropyl alcohol, polyethylene glycol, propylene glycol, and others. More than 50 percent of all exports of Azerkimya is exported to the Turkish market. Overall, about 92 percent of Azerkimya products is exported to world markets.
But the real boom in the production of chemical production in Azerbaijan is expected after commissioning of the plant under construction for the production of urea in the city of Sumgait, planned for commissioning in 2014. It is also planned to create in Sumgait a chemical industrial town, where there will be small businesses, providing production in the country of final chemical products, most of which are currently imported.
Azerkimya has already obtained from the IBA loan of $40 million. Borrowed funds are allocated for development, reconstruction, improvement, modernization of enterprises included in the Azerkimya. The company is also increasingly focused on innovation, improving processes and services. At the present time Azerkimya is working on optimizing the production process. In particular, it has plans to develop the production of polypropylene and low density polyethylene.
Well, the aim of building a new complex for oil and gas processing and production of petrochemical products in Azerbaijan (OGPC) is to ensure domestic demand for petroleum products and petrochemical products, the establishment of industries in this sector, strengthening of export potential, as well as becoming a regional leader in this field. Production of the complex will meet the Euro 5 standards.
It should be noted that the chemical industry is one of the most important basic industries of the modern economy. Its products (70,000 items) are widely used for production of a variety of consumer goods, as well as- in large volumes - in other sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, construction and services. Thus, on reaching a certain level, the chemical industry in Azerbaijan itself will be able to work on optimizing the production process and ensure all the necessary production in the country, can provide such important consumers of its products like - automotive, textiles, garments, metals and others.
However, along with the development of chemical production in the country, Azerbaijan in the person of the SOCAR, being the owner of the Turkish Petkim petrochemical complex, is actively involved in the petrochemical market in Turkey. About $17 billion will be invested in the coming years in the Petkim petrochemical holding. In addition, to increase the share of Petkim in the domestic market and reduce dependence on imported raw materials work under creating a new STAR refinery in Turkey is underway.
All of this will lead to the fact that Azerbaijan will soon be recognized worldwide as a producer and as a reliable supplier of chemical products.
Leyla Abdullayeva /Trend