In a bid to diversify its oil and gas-dependent economy, Azerbaijan is betting on petrochemicals investment, industry and government officials told Reuters. The country learned its lesson from plummeting global oil prices five years ago that sent its economy into decline, devalued its currency and led to bankruptcies among its commercial banks.
Azerbaijan has sought additional sources of revenue, investing in petrochemical plants at home and abroad as it chases the bigger margins from turning crude oil into plastics rather than oil products. Construction has been completed on three new petrochemical plants in Azerbaijan over the past 12 months. The plants are producing polypropylene, carbamide and high-density polyethylene. Azerbaijan also produces methanol and other petrochemicals and plans to begin construction of a new petrochemicals plant in Turkey to produce various materials in partnership with British oil major BP at the end of 2020, aiming to complete the project within three years, said BP and state-controlled Azeri oil and gas company SOCAR.