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Azerbaijan in Talks With European Banks on $17 Billion Refinery

Azerbaijan has held talks with European banks including BNP Paribas, Societe Generale, UniCredit and Credit Agricole to obtain funding for a $17 billion refinery and petrochemicals complex, an official said.

The banks expressed interest in the project that will be built near the capital city of Baku, Tofiq Qahramanov, vice president of the State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan, or Socar, said today by phone.

Of the total amount, 30 percent to 40 percent will be provided by the state and the rest by foreign lenders, he said.

Construction of the oil and gas refineries will start in the middle of 2013. It will process 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas and 10 million metric tons of oil a year, Qahramanov said. The refinery, which will be commissioned in 2017, may use Russian and Kazakh oil as well as Azeri crude, he said.

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