Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR and Arab countries look to seize investment opportunities in Turkey in a wide variety of industries with projects that will facilitate the reduction of the current deficit. With more and more businesspeople placing their confidence in Turkey’s investment environment, this illustrates a more lucrative and prosperous future for the country.
Rovnag Abdullayev, the president of The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), said their investments in Turkey will exceed $18 billion. He said the overall progress at the SOCAR Turkey Aegean Refinery or STAR Refinery project, on which the company has spent more than $3.7 billion so far, has reached 80 percent.
Noting that they were in talks with banks to provide external financing for The Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), Abdullayev said, though not yet finalized, they expect a contribution of about $4 billion to the project. Speaking to Anadolu Agency regarding SOCAR’s investments and activities in Turkey, Abdullayev expressed his deepest condolences over the recent terrorist attack in Istanbul, saying it was not only an attack against the Turkish people, but against all of humanity.
He said the SOCAR believes in Turkey and the Turkish economy, and that its investments, which are expected to exceed $18 billion, was the greatest proof of this trust. Suggesting that the reduction of the current deficit and energy imports, one of the most important problems of the country, will be provided with a significant support upon the completion of the projects in Turkey, Abdullayev said, “We have faith in Turkey to take its place among the leading nations in the world, particularly in the region, with its deeply rooted state tradition, strong democracy understanding, and a rapidly growing economy.”
He said Turkey will strengthen its position in the world as an energy bridge within a short time, and Turkey will become the most important guarantor of global and regional energy supply security in the near future, something Azerbaijan and the SOCAR are also proud to be a part of. “We have received great support and interest for investments in Turkey. I firmly believe that this cooperation will continue to strengthen in the future with our ‘One Nation, Two States’ philosophy,” he added.
$3.7 billion and TANAP financing in refinerySignifying that they had conducted a comprehensive and intensive operation for the STAR Refinery, Abdullayev said the overall progress at the project, on which they have spent some $3.7 billion so far, was at 80 percent, and shipments of heavy equipment began in Dec. 2015 and were completed in mid-2016, following the establishment of the infrastructure for the installation of machinery and equipment.
Foreseeing that tank constructions, machinery and equipment installations will continue during the final months of 2016 and throughout 2017, and the STAR Refinery will be in service in 2018, Abdullayev stressed that when their investments in Turkey would be finalized, the total amount will exceed $18 billion.
He also added that the works were in progress at the TANAP project. Pointing out that they are in talks with banks, including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), to provide external financing for TANAP, Abdullayev said they expected a contribution of about $4 billion to the project.
He said they were currently considering to transfer eight of the 58 percent of shares in the Southern Gas Corridor Company to SOCAR Turkey and they have launched necessary initiatives with their partners in this regard and the transfer process is expected to become official in near future.
“taking the opportunities into consideration”
Indicating that the basis of future profitability of the company is established by directing the company’s profit to various investment projects, Abdullayev noted that the company has a 30 percent share on Goldman Sachs and Petlim and 13 percent on SOCAR Turkey Energy Inc.
Abdullayev underscored that their primary goal for now is to fulfill their obligations with these partnerships. “We are closely following the market conjuncture and taking the new opportunities into consideration,” Abdullayev said, adding that SOCAR’s assets have attracted attention of international finance and investment companies, and it has significantly increased its total assets and total capital with diversified investment strategy implemented over the past nine years.