SOCAR Turkey Aegean Oil Refinery (STAR) Aegean is a refinery project under construction in Aliaga, Izmir Province, Turkey. Being developed by STAR Rafineri, the facility will have a processing capacity of 10 million tonnes (Mt) of crude oil a year, which is equivalent to 214,000 barrels a day.

The oil refinery construction commenced in October 2011 and is expected to be completed in October 2018, with an estimated investment of $6.3bn.

The refinery imported the first batch of 80,000t of crude oil in August 2018, which was delivered by the Absheron vessel, from Azerbaijan.

STAR Aegean refinery details

STAR Aegean refinery will be a high-complexity high-conversion oil refinery that will process natural gas and refinery fuel gas.

It will include a crude distillation plant with a capacity of 34,023 cubic metres a day (m³/d), a vacuum distillation plant of 13,514m³/d, a 6,067tpd saturated gas plant, and a 703tpd unsaturated gas plant.

A naphtha hydrotreater unit, a kerosene hydrotreater unit and one diesel hydrotreater unit with capacities of 3,180m³/day, 4,134m³/day and 10,811m³/day, respectively, will also be part of the refinery.

The facility will also contain a hydrocracker unit (10,493m³/day), a delayed coker unit (6,380m³/day) and a continuous catalytic reforming (CCR) unit with a capacity of 4,452m³/day.

In addition, the refinery will feature a hydrogen generation unit with a capacity of 3.84 million normal cubic metres per day, a 1,317m³/day saturated liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) Merox unit and a 422m3/day unsaturated LPG Merox unit.

It will also have two sulphur recovery units and a tail gas treatment unit with a capacity of 487tpd of sulphur.

STAR Aegean refinery infrastructure

The STAR Aegean refinery will be installed with 63 storage tanks with a combined capacity of approximately 1,640Mt. It will feature a marine terminal to enable the import of crude oil and export of refined products from the plant. The terminal will include four jetties with double berthing facilities for tankers.

The refinery will also include a waste water treatment unit.

STAR refinery products

The STAR refinery is designed to refine Azeri light, Kerkuk and URALS oil to produce 4.8Mt of ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel, 1.63Mt of Jet fuel and 320,000t of LPG a year.

It will also produce petrochemical raw materials including 1.61Mt of naphtha and 422,000t of mixed Xylene a year.

Other refined products from the plant will include 485,000t of reformates, 692,000t of petroleum coke and 153,000t of sulphur a year.

The naphtha, LPG and mixed xylenes produced by the refinery will be sent to the Petkim petrochemical plant located adjacent to the refinery.

Financing for STAR refinery

A financial equity loan agreement for a sum of $3.29bn was signed between STAR Rafineri and 23 banks in June 2014.

The financing was provided by five exim banks including the Export-Import Bank of the United States, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Korea Trade Insurance Corporation, Compañía Española de Seguros de Crédito a la Exportación, and Servizi Assicurativi del Commercio.

State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan provided a financing of $1.3bn for the project.

Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance signed a facility agreement with STAR Rafineri for providing a direct loan of $291m. The loan was co-financed by The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and several other Japanese banks.

Contractors involved

STAR Rafineri awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the refinery to a consortium of four companies including Tecnicas Reunidas, KS Engineering, Saipem and ITOCHU.

The front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract for the refinery was awarded to Foster Wheeler and Fluor Consultants.

Axens is providing the hydrotreater units, while FWI will provide the crude distillation plant, a vacuum distillation plant, a saturated gas plant and an unsaturated gas plant.

Honeywell (formerly UPO) was appointed as the main automation supplier for the oil refinery. It will also provide a hydrocracker unit, a CCR Reformer unit, a saturated LPG Merox unit and an unsaturated LPG Merox unit for the plant.

FW USA will provide the delayed coker unit, while Technip Benelux will provide the hydrogen generation unit and Technimont will supply two sulphur recovery units and tail gas treatment units.

Tekfen Construction and Installation Company, ABB, Keller Grundbau and Samm Technology are some of the other contractors involved in the project.