Petrochem Complexes Facing Water Crises

Petrochem Complexes Facing Water CrisesPetrochem Complexes Facing Water Crises

Central ethylene petrochemical complexes are facing water crises and should be transferred to coastal regions, said the National Petrochemical Company (NPC)'s projects manager on Monday.

Jahrom, Estahban, Fasa, and Darab petrochemical complexes, in Fars Province, were designed with no regard for the region's water crisis, Marzieh Shah-Daei was quoted by Fars news agency as saying.

Although project managers claim they are employing methods to reduce water consumption, the NPC and Shiraz University are cooperating to carry out geological water assessments to determine whether or not launching the projects is advisable.

Local officials in Fars might question the NPC for having had devised water-intensive petrochemical projects where "water resources are scarce," Shah-Daei added. "We suggest relocating the projects to coastal regions in the south," she added.

The official did not rule out the possibility of revoking the licenses for the projects.

Central ethylene pipeline is designed to transfer ethane from Parsian gas refinery to Firouzabad petrochemical complex and ethylene from the complex to Darab, Fasa, Estahban and Jahrom petrochemical units. The pipeline's capacity is 1.3 million tons (mt) of ethane, and 1.04 mt of ethylene per annum.

Shah-Daei said coastal provinces make a perfect location for petrochemical production process, "which usually consumes large volumes of water."

"Petrochemical industry is water and energy-intensive. That is why many petrochemical units are cutting down on production and exports as they face water shortage,” she said. Low precipitation poses another serious challenge to the development of the petrochemical industry.