KBR and State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) joint venture has received a project management consultancy (PMC) contract for modernization of the Heydar Aliyev Baku oil refinery in Azerbaijan.

The contract marks the first award to the joint venture, which was formed in mid-2015 to provide design, engineering, technical, consultancy, procurement, construction supervision and project management services.

The joint venture intends to provide services with focus on all brownfield and greenfield projects across the upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas sectors, in the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey (AGT) region.

The Heydar Aliyev Baku oil refinery modernization project, which is planned to be completed by late 2018, is estimated to cost of $1bn.

As part of the upgrade project, the refinery capacity is planned to be increased from 6 to 7.5 million tons per year (MYPY) while the catalytic cracking unit capacity will be increased from 2 to 2.5 MTPY. The Euro 5 standards will also be established for all refined products.

SOCAR president Rovnag Abdullayev said: "The Heydar Aliyev refinery reconstruction project is currently one of the most important investments for SOCAR globally, and I am very happy that this project is in the capable hands of one of SOCAR’s own entities-namely the SOCAR-KBR joint venture."

As part of the contract, the joint venture will leverage KBR’s project experience in Azerbaijan to perform project management services.

Work for the refinery modernization project will be carried out from offices in Baku.

KBR EEA president Jan Egil Braendeland said: "KBR has worked on various projects in Azerbaijan since 1994, achieving more than 17 million man-hours."