Azerbaijan’s state energy company SOCAR is interested in purchasing assets of the gas station network belonging to the Austrian energy company OMV in Turkey as a part of the company’s investment strategy.
SOCAR’s interest in acquisition of gas station in Turkey is associated with the launch of the Star Refinery in Izmir, head of SOCAR Turkey Enerji Inc. Kanan Yavuz told Turkish media on April 5. The sale of petroleum products produced in the plant will be realized in the framework of the plan on integrating the company into the market. Some 55 percent of the refinery project has been completed and the construction work still continues. The commissioning of the refinery is expected in 2018.
SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev gave instructions to company’s Turkish branch to analyze the Turkish market for the sale of gasoline, particularly at the OMVs gas station network, said Yavuz. The issue will be addressed in terms of priorities, strategies and objectives of SOCAR. The SOCAR president confirmed SOCAR’s interest in purchasing assets of the OMVs gas station network in Turkey last week.
Earlier, OMV announced about the sale of its Turkish subsidiary OMV Petrol Office as the company intended to focus on extracting facilities and integrated oil refining activities. OMV Petrol Office, which owns one of the largest gas station chains in Turkey, has 1,785 gasoline stations in Turkey. The volume of fuel sold amounted to about 10 million tons, in 2015.
In 2013, Unipetrol held talks with OMV to acquire gas station network in the Czech Republic. And in 2012, the Serbian NIS-Gazprom Neft signed an agreement to buy a network of 28 gas stations that were owned by the OMV subsidiary in Bosnia and Herzegovina. SOCAR is the largest investor in Turkey’s economy. Its total investments in Turkey exceed $20 billion for the period 2008-2018. It will be Azerbaijan’s largest investment abroad by 2020.
Previously, Kanan Yavuz told journalists that SOCAR Turkey Enerji will become the second largest industrial company in Turkey by 2018. The consolidated turnover of SOCAR Turkey Enerji is expected to reach to $15 billion in 2018. In addition, SOCAR holds 56.32 percent stake in Turkey’s petrochemical giant Petkim.
Turkey and Azerbaijan has always had close and amicable relations due to common roots, history and culture. Thus, Turkey is a stable market for Azerbaijan to invest. The increasing number of projects initiated by both countries will serve to enhance the cooperation between them more in future.