SOCAR Methanol LLC, the methanol plant of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR, intends to double the sales of methanol in the Azerbaijani market starting from 2019, Elnur Mustafayev, the company’s CEO, said in an interview with “Consulting and Business” magazine.
He said that China, countries of the Middle East and Latin America are the main producers of methanol in the world.
He noted that the countries importing methanol purchase it for the subsequent stages of processing natural gas, with the goal of manufacturing final demand goods.
“We are strategically aimed at deepening the processing of natural gas,” he said.
“In the foreseeable future, the volume of sales of our methanol in the Azerbaijani market will increase by many times,” Mustafayev said.
He noted that increasing efficiency and productivity is another strategic objective.
“That is, we should produce as much methanol as possible from 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas,” Mustafayev said. “We plan to produce 250,000 tons of methanol this year. In the nearest future, we plan to increase production to 500,000 tons per year. The maximum capacity of the plant is 650,000-700,000 tons per year.”
The methanol plant was built by AzMeCo company and is one of the largest investments in the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan. The plant, which is the only one in the South Caucasus and Central Asia region, started selling products in January 2014.
The annual capacity of the methanol plant is 720,000 tons.
AzMeCo for the debts was handed over to Aqrarkredit CJSC non-bank credit institution in accordance with a decision of Azerbaijan’s Cabinet of Ministers. (Aqrarkredit CJSC manages the distressed assets of the International Bank of Azerbaijan).
SOCAR acquired the plant from Aqrarkredit CJSC.
The need to transfer AzMeCo to SOCAR arose due to AzMeCo’s debts to the International Bank of Azerbaijan.
The cost of the plant was estimated at $520 million.