Petkim, one of SOCAR’s most significant assets in Türkiye, is the country’s first and only integrated petrochemical complex, as well as one of the most important suppliers of raw materials to local industries. The complex, consisting of 15 main and 6 auxiliary processing plants, has a production capacity of 3.6 million tons annually. Petkim, which has about 60 petrochemical products in its portfolio, supplies raw materials to the spheres of plastics, chemicals, packaging, pipes, paints, construction, agriculture, automobiles, electricity, electronics, textiles, medicines, medical supplies, detergents, cosmetics. The company aims to strengthen Türkiye’s economy with high-quality petrochemical products and to have a leading brand as a reliable, responsible supplier and partner in the country and world markets.
Petkim was established on the 3rd of April 1965 under the auspices of Türkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortaklığı (TPAO) Türkiye’s petroleum company and began operations in 1970 with the construction of five plants, including the Yarimca complex in Kocaeli. The second complex of Petkim, based on modern technologies and with optimal production capacity, was commissioned in 1985 in the Aliaga district of Izmir.
On the 30th of May 2008, 51% of the shares of Petkim Petrokimya Holding A.Ş. were acquired by SOCAR and Turcas Enerji A.Ş. for 2.04 billion US dollars. At present, Petkim operates low-density polyethylene, high-density polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, acrylonitrile, ethylene glycol, pure terephthalic acid, aromatic hydrocarbons, ethylene-propylene, chlorine alkali, vinyl chloride monomer, plastic works, and phthalic anhydride factories and also Petkim’s other operations, such as trading activities, port activities, and renewable energy activities.
Petkim has a wind farm in Aliağa, and the 17-turbine capacity is 51 MW. It contributes to revenue diversification and provides a 20% increase in Petkim’s electricity generating capacity, which is expected to reduce carbon emissions.
The petrochemical holding was included in the list of Top 500 Large Industrial Enterprises of the Istanbul Chamber of Industry, 1000 Most Exporting Companies of Türkiye’s Exporters’ Assembly, Top 100 Aegean Industrial Institutions and Most Exporting Companies announced by the Aegean Chamber of Industry. With foreign sales reaching a record USD 1,315 million in 2021, including direct exports of USD 802 million and transit exports of USD 513 million, Petkim became the largest exporter in the Aegean region only in the chemical sector but among all sectors. The company meets 17% of the demand for petrochemical products in Türkiye’s domestic market.
The synergy created with the STAR Oil Refinery, which was commissioned at the end of 2018, has contributed to increased productivity in both operational and management areas, as well as the rapid implementation of projects.
In addition to its logistic cost savings, its synergy with STAR has improved product quality, operational efficiency, raw material security, and shared value in management processes. Petkim’s value-added programmes and efficiency projects have provided steady growth in sales and revenue. Petkim could carry out continuous and efficient production during the pandemic due to its integration with the STAR Oil Refinery. Thus, naphtha, the main product for the complex, was supplied from the refinery without interruption.
Integration with the STAR refinery has also given a solid impetus for digital transformation activities. Digitalization projects implemented since 2018, including analytical applications and artificial intelligence, have significantly contributed to production processes. During this period, the Digitalisation Department was established at Petkim, and the Digital Academy project was launched to improve the preparation of employees for the digitalization process. The new business model increases the efficiency of production processes based on employee suggestions and analyses of different scenarios through data-driven decision-making processes and algorithms. Thanks to successful strategies in the work process, the volume of work, operational and energy efficiency, and product quality have increased. As a result, in 2020, Petkim became the only company selected from Türkiye for the Global Lighthouse Network, which created a benchmark for companies worldwide on innovative and digital application standards. This prestigious network brings together 44 companies that best apply Industry 4.0 technology to their processes.
The complex currently employs 2,500 people. Together with employees of contractors, this figure exceeds 5,000. Guided by the principle of respect for people and the environment, Petkim pays special attention to occupational safety and environmental protection.
Aiming to become the largest oil and chemical complex in Türkiye and Europe, Petkim is one of SOCAR’s successful investment projects and important production facilities that add value to Azerbaijan’s and Türkiye’s economies. In addition to bringing significant benefits to the economies of both countries, the project strengthens Azerbaijan’s position in such an important energy market; as Türkiye expands access to international markets, it reduces Türkiye’s economic dependence on imports and contributes to reducing the country’s budget deficit and employment.