Currently Azerbaijan is covering their fertilizer consumption, which is over one million tonnes, completely through imports. But now Socar, the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic, is planning to build an urea plant in Sumgait (also known as Sumqayit) that will have a designed capacity of 2,000 tpd. Azerbaijani sources have estimated the potential demand of urea in the country in about 320,000-350,000 tpa. The plant location will be near the Caspian Sea, some 31 km away from the country’s capital, Baku.
Feedstock will be based on the domestic natural gas production, which in the latest years was of about 15 billion cubic metres per year, or 0.5% of the global production, more than countries like the Ukraine or Germany. Azerbaijan proved natural gas reserves are abundant and are estimated in some 1.3 trillion cubic metres, about 0.7% of the world reserves. Efforts to boost Azerbaijan’s gas production are underway.
The project will be environmental effective as it is expected not to emit the produced carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but to use it as additional feedstock in the urea manufacturing.
More than half of Azerbaijan lands are agricultural and their main products are cotton, grain, rice, grapes, fruit, vegetables, tea, tobacco; cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats. The agricultural production in Azerbaijan increased by 10.2 percent, including crop production, which increased by 15.1 percent, and livestock by 4.8 percent in the first seven months of 2011 compared to the same period of 2010.