NPC Puts Petrochem Investment Needs at $33b

NPC Puts Petrochem  Investment Needs at $33b NPC Puts Petrochem  Investment Needs at $33b

At least 15 petrochemical projects will be completed over the next two years, an official from the National Petrochemical Company announced.

“Iran’s petrochemical production capacity will increase 8.5 million tons once new plants come on stream by 2017,” Marzieh Shah-Daei was quoted by Tasnim news agency as saying. She said that petrochemical production could double to 120 million tons a year if 60 semi-finished projects are completed in the next five years.

Shah-Daei said the projects require $33.4 billion in finances, adding that up to 2.7 million tons will be added to the country’s annual petrochemical output upon completion of seven prioritized projects through next Iranian year (begins March 21).

“Those projects with 60-100%, 20-60%, and 1-20% physical progress have been classified as first, second and third priority, respectively,” the NPC official noted, putting the current annual petrochemical production at 60 million tons. “Most of our second-priority projects have been financed, but our major problem is providing sufficient financial resources for third-priority projects,” she said.

She said any solution to problems related  to financing of petrochemical projects will depend on the outcome of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of major world powers.

Shah-Daei added that new projects are being implemented with the aim of attracting investment in the petrochemical industry. “These include development projects in Parsian, Chabahar and Jask in south of the country,” she added.  “In case of gas-to-olefin technology or the processing of gas into propylene, it is better to use state-of-the-art technology,” the NPC official said, adding that domestic expertise is advanced enough for less complex petrochemical processes, including methanol or urea fertilizer production.

Since last year, China and Iran have started to arrange financing lines for four petrochemical plants out of 18 projects offered to China. “Proximity to Persian Gulf, Indian and Chinese markets, as well as easy access to gas and liquid feedstock are some of the advantages Iran’s petrochemical industry enjoys compared to any other country,” Shah-Daei added.

  Methanol Giant

Kaveh Petrochemical Complex, which is said to be the world’s largest methanol production project, is 70% complete, and will come online by 2017, deputy NPC managing director said Wednesday.   

The first phase of the project will be completed by September, Hassan Peyvandi stated, adding that financing for the remaining 30% is planned to be provided by the private sector and the National Development Fund of Iran.

“The installation of fractionation column, utility units, reactors, cooling towers and power plant equipment is currently underway at Kaveh complex,” the NPC official said. The project, when completed, will add 7,000 tons to Iran’s daily methanol output.  

He expressed hope that once the semi-finished methanol projects are completed in the next five years, Iran’s methanol production capacity will reach 25 million tons per year, thus turning the country into one of the biggest players in the global methanol market.

“The export of the US shale gas products requires creating transport capacities and preparing petrochemical units in European countries. It would be much cheaper for these countries to import from Iran and the Middle East instead of the United States,” Peyvandi added.