Azerbaijan’s Baku refinery exported 53,000 tons of petroleum coke (petcoke) to India in in 2015. That’s about a quarter of Baku petcoke production for the year.
That number is especially significant given the fact that India imported no petroleum coke from Azerbaijan in 2014.
“Azerbaijani petcoke exports to India and other overseas countries is evidence that the petcoke market is becoming more global,” said Yury Burenko, director of petroleum coke at DYM Resources. “In 2015, we saw low-sulphur petcoke going from Baku to Canada, from Romania to Russia, which shows great potential for Turkmenistan 0.6 sulphur petcoke as well.”
Baku refinery is a part of the state-owned company SOCAR. Among other products, it produces anode grade petcoke with a very low content of sulphur (up to 0.6 percent) and metals (V, Fe, Si and others) due to oil properties that come from the Caspian Sea.
The refinery produces 700 to 800 metric tons of petcoke daily, with an annual output estimated at 200,000 metric tons.
Russia remained one of the biggest importers of petcoke from Azerbaijan, although the sales geography was quite broad. Azerbaijan’s petcoke was supplied to a number of countries in 2015, including:
A similar crude oil source from the Caspian Sea is being used by another refinery in the region that produces petcoke: Turkmenbashi refinery. Turkmenistani petcoke also has a very low sulphur content (0.6 percent max) and very low metal content, especially of vanadium.
“Turkmenistani petcoke has the chance to be exported on the same markets as Azerbaijani petcoke,” Burenko said. At the moment, the main geographical markets for Turkmenbashi refinery petcoke are Russia and Tajikistan.”
Currently, logistics remain the main problem for Turkmenistanti petcoke trading, as Turkmenistan has no access to deep seaports. Export opportunities from Turkmenistan by the Volga-Don Canal are constricted due to low water levels, which limit cargo size by 3,000 tons. The issue could be solved by loading bigger vessels with Turkmenbashi petcoke from the Black Sea.
DYM Resources specializes in trading anode grade petcoke originating from ex-USSR countries and Eastern Europe. The company provides door-to-door logistical solutions including railway and dry bulk vessel transport.
Photo: Azerbaijan petcoke operations at Baku seaport