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BAKU: The only oil refinery in Azerbaijan, owned by state energy company SOCAR, plans to keep volumes of processed oil at around 6.1 million tonnes in 2019, the same as last year, SOCAR's vice president said on Wednesday.

"We plan to process 6.1 million tonnes of oil at the Heydar Aliyev refinery in 2019, last year the volume was 6.14 million tonnes," Davud Mammadov told reporters.

He said SOCAR would halt production at the refinery for routine maintenance for one month in October and the country would import petrol during that period. Routine maintenance was also conducted last year.

Mammadov added that SOCAR's other unit, Azerkhimia, would also halt production during that period.

He said 350,000 tonnes of petrol, which is used for local consumption, was produced at the refinery in the first quarter of 2019. Annual consumption of petrol in Azerbaijan in January-March grew by three percent.

Mammadov said the refinery exported around 200,000 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and 8,000 tonnes of diesel in January-March to Georgia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Black Sea countries.

Annual capacity of the refinery is 6 million tonnes of oil. SOCAR plans to boost its capacity to 7.5 million tonnes after completion of modernisation in 2021.

Copyright Reuters, 2019