Rapid growth expected at Petkim's petrochemical hub

Petkim's petrochemical hub in western Turkey is set to grow rapidly to take advantage of the country's budding petrochemical market and will aid in should also help tackle the country's huge polymer deficit as per ICIS. Petkim figures show that the undersupplied Turkish petrochemical market has grown at around 12% pa in the past 15 years and is expected to grow at the same pace in the near future. Currently, Turkey is the third-biggest importer of petrochemicals in the world, behind China and Italy.State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), Turcas Petroleum and Saudi Arabia-based developer Injaz Projects have shelled out paid US$2.04 bln for a 51% stake in the company. They have committed themselves to a US$5 bln investment program on Petkim's coastal Aliaga petrochemical complex in western Turkey. Commodity producer Petkim has a 25% share of the petrochemical market, but if the program comes to fruition, this should rise to 40% by 2018. Central to Petkim's grand plan is the three-year-old 800,000 bpd Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, the second-longest oil pipeline in the world, which runs from Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, to the southeastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey via Georgia. It is depending on supplies of largely Azerbaijani BTC crude, feeding a new SOCAR-Turcas refinery to be built on 130ha (321 acres) of land adjacent to the Petkim complex. Feedstock from the facility should enable Petkim's ambitious petrochemical expansion plan. Turkey's petrochemical market was worth about US$6.1 bln last year according to the Turkish Privatisation Administration (OIB). As per Petkim, Turkish thermoplastics consumption stands at around 29 kg per capita. Under its investment program, within six years, Petkim aims to exploit this and other consumption shortfalls by at least doubling its Aliaga production of 1.9 mln tpa, utilizing 6-8 mln tpa of naphtha and other feedstock from the refinery.
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