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Azerbaijan's SOCAR plans IPO of Turkish subsidiary in 2021 - official

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By Nailia Bagirova

BAKU (Reuters) – Azerbaijan’s state energy company SOCAR plans to list its Turkish subsidiary on the London, Hong Kong and Istanbul stock exchanges in 2021, a SOCAR official said.

“We believe that we have a good asset that we can monetise and IPO is a profit for shareholders,” Zaur Gakhramanov, head of SOCAR Turkey Enerji, told Reuters at the annual Caspian Oil and Gas conference in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku.

He did not specify the volume of shares in SOCAR Turkey Enerji that SOCAR planned to offer to investors, but said that shareholders and SOCAR’s management would decide how to use proceeds from the initial public offering (IPO).

Citigroup and JP Morgan will be listing consultants, while McKinsey will help with “technical and financial optimisation”.

Gakhramanov said that SOCAR’s STAR oil refinery in Turkey had reached its full processing capacity of 10 million tonnes of oil per year in May and was expected to process 7 million tonnes of crude by the end of 2019.

“The plant is currently processing 28,500–29,000 tonnes of crude oil daily,” he said, adding that the same volumes would be processed in June and July.

Oil products from the refinery are sent to the Turkish domestic market as well as for export.

Gakhramanov said that STAR would export 300,000 tonnes of reformate and 50,000 tonnes of jet fuel this year, while exports next year were expected to rise to 600,000 tonnes of reformate and 200,000-250,000 tonnes of jet fuel.

Gakhramanov said that reaching its full capacity enabled STAR to add other grades of crude oil to Urals, the only grade that it had been refining so far.

“We plan to purchase 600,000 barrels of Siberian light crude and oil from Iraq Basra in June for processing purposes as it is possible to refine all crude oil grades at our plant,” he said, adding that Saudi oil was not commercially profitable for the company at the moment.

Gakhramanov said that SOCAR had been given final permissions for the acquisition of natural gas distributing networks in the Turkish industrial cities of Kayseri and Bursa from Germany’s EWE Turkey Holding on May 27 and would finalise the deal by mid-June.

The company expects to be distributing 4 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas to consumers in Turkey from 2020.

Gakhramanov said that gas supplies from Azerbaijan’s giant Shah Deniz field to Turkey through the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) would reach 3 bcm in 2019 and would double from 2020.

(Writing and additional reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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