On October 19th, Azerbaijan’s state-owned SOCAR has started up the new $6.3BN STAR refinery in Turkey at the Aliaga peninsula. It is a breakthrough for Turkey since the last refinery opened there was back in 1975.

“This refinery is aimed at saving around $1.5bn annually in oil product imports and the reduction of foreign dependence for oil products”, – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says.

The STAR refinery launches accurately at a time when Turkey is heading for an economic and financial crisis. Over the first eight months, the country’s currency lost 40 percent of its value. Therefore, Turkey is desperate to reduce its import dependency to cut down the nation’s account deficit.

Besides, Erdogan believes that is Turkey’s giant leap forward in meeting its energy demands. The expected capacity of the STAR refinery is ten million tons. It would process nearly 200,000 barrels of crude per day, expected to produce 1.6 million tonnes of naphtha and 420,000 tonnes of xylenes, apart from other products.

The refinery construction indicates the developing partnership between Turkey and Azerbaijan in the field of oil, gas, and petrochemicals. Consequently, the mutual relationships would surely enhance their unity.

Erdogan claimed the refinery to be the first recipient of Turkey’s ‘Strategic Investment Incentive Certificate’, a license to facilitate further investment.

The time will unfold the possible gains for both economies. As of today, the future looks optimistic for Turkey and Azerbaijan.