Azeri SOCAR’s 8-year Turkey investments to top $17 billion

June 08, 2012, Friday/ 15:37:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN WITH WIRES

Azerbaijan's state oil and gas company has announced plans to invest up to $17 billion in energy projects in its neighbor Turkey over the coming eight years.

SOCAR Vice President Suleyman Gasimov said investments will include $5.5 billion for a new refinery and $800 million for a power station. Another major but still unconfirmed goal mentioned by Gasimov is the construction of the proposed Trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline -- Trans Anadolu Gas Pipeline (TANAP) -- which Azerbaijan hopes could be used to carry gas from its Shah Deniz offshore field to Europe. Under current plans, Azerbaijan would take a lead in the project, and provide several billion dollars for its completion.

“So far, SOCAR has spent $2.04 billion to acquire a controlling stake in the Petkim petrochemicals complex, in addition to $1.76 billion that will be invested to develop the complex. In total, the company intends to invest $10 billion in the Turkish economy over the next seven to eight years, including investments in the TANAP construction project," he said.

SOCAR is investing aggressively in countries such as Turkey and the former Soviet republics as it tries to diversify its sources of revenue. Earlier in May, Turkey's Privatization Administration (ÖİB) sold 10.32 percent of Petkim's state-owned shares to SOCAR's Turkey branch for nearly $170 million. Holding a 26 percent share of Turkish petrochemical markets, Petkim is now majority owned by SOCAR, whereas 38.68 percent of its shares are publicly traded on the İstanbul Stock Exchange (İMKB).

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