March 17 (hurriyetdailynews) -- Petkim aims high with its plans to invest $5 billion in the next three years. Currently, the company's top priority is to establish a refinery in its Aliaga complex located in the Aegean city of Izmir. Petkim earned a positive environmental assessment from the authorities, and now it is expecting to have the refinery license in the first half of this year.
Petkim Petrokimya Holding, Turkey's biggest chemicals maker, aims to invest $5 billion within the next three years.
A big portion of the $5 billion will be spent on establishing a refinery in Petkim's Aliaga complex located in the Aegean city of Izmir, Hayati Ozturk, managing director of Petkim, told members of the press at a meeting held Tuesday to announce the company's 2009 financial results and 2010 targets.
"The refinery we are planning to establish is the most important investment of Socar&Turcas. It is expected to cost $4 billion," said Ozturk speaking to journalists in the Istanbul meeting. Petkim will use its own equity to meet 35 percent to 40 percent of the cost of the refinery. The rest will be met through a project funding.
Petkim is currently waiting for a license to build the refinery. The construction of the refinery will start once Petkim receives its license from the Energy Market Regulatory Authority, or EPDK. Petkim's refinery carries an additional importance due to the fact that, when it begins operating, it will end the reliance on Turkey's sole naphtha refiner Tupras, Ozturk said.
"Our main goal is to use the latest technology in this refinery," said Ozturk. ⌠The refinery, which will be built on 135 hectares, is expected to be completed by 2014," he said.
Petkim's capacity use at its facilities will rise to 96 percent this year from 91 percent in 2009, Ozturk said. The company will make 3.1 million tons of chemicals this year from 3 million tons in 2009, he added.
⌠We got a positive environmental assessment report from authorities, and now we expect to have the refinery license in the first half of this year, said Batu Aksoy, a Petkim board member. ⌠We want to complete it by 2014 with the world's fastest technology.
The plant, with a refining capacity of 10 million tons of crude annually, will mainly produce naphtha, Kenan Yavuz, chief executive officer of Socar-Turcas, the parent company, said at the same news conference. It will supply 2 million tons of raw materials a year by 2014 for Petkim and 8 million tons of ⌠non-gasoline fuels for the local market and for export, he said. ⌠This project will provide the integration of refinery, the petrochemical industry, energy and logistics," said Yavuz, who is also a board member for Petkim. With the new investment, he said, "by 2018 we aim to make our local market share reach 40 percent."
The new refinery, which will be built on the Petkim peninsula, will provide employment to 10,000 people.
Socar&Turcas Enerji, a partnership of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, fuel retailer Turcas Petrolculuk and the Aksoy family, bought 51 percent of Petkim from the Turkish government for $2.04 billion in 2008.
Petkim plans to turn its Izmir site on Turkey's west coast into an industrial zone similar to Singapore's Jurong Island, Yavuz said in an interview before the news conference, according to Bloomberg.
⌠We are receiving great interest from chemicals producers all over the world to come and produce chemicals using raw materials to be supplied by Petkim, he said. ⌠They will make end-products at our site. Petkim is holding talks with the Singapore government to get the ⌠know-how for the project, he said.
A $2 billion joint venture in Iran to access cheaper raw materials is still at the feasibility stage, he said. The venture would produce 300,000 tons a year of suspension polyvinyl chloride, or S-PVC, a plastic used in food containers and water pipes, and 195,000 tons of caustic soda, used in production of pulp and paper as well as soap. A similar venture may be considered in Egypt, Yavuz said.