Petchem Output 44m Tons Last Year

Petchem Output 44m Tons Last YearPetchem Output 44m Tons Last Year

Iran’s petrochemical output surpassed 44 million tons in the last Iranian calendar year (ended March 21), coordination and supervision director of the National Petrochemical Company (NPC) said.

“Despite difficulties, we managed to supply around 44.4 million tons of petrochemicals to domestic and international markets last year,” Ali Mohammad Basaghzadeh was quoted by Shana news agency as saying on Monday.

Petrochemical complexes on average operated with 70 percent of overall production capacity, but there are plans to increase the capacity to nearly 80 percent by March 2016. He underlined the implementation of major repairs in the upstream and downstream sector as part of measures to boost output.

The official also said the launch of phases 15-18 of the South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf in the near future will overhaul the production of methane, ethane and other gas condensate as feedstock for petrochemical units.

“Plans call for increasing natural gas/ethane output by 100 million cubic meters by the yearend,” Basaghzadeh said, adding that this will help petrochemical complexes increase production.

In addition, Iran aims to export $5 billion of petrochemicals annually to Europe should the trade sanctions be lifted, according to the Association of Petrochemical Industry Corporation (APIC).

The country on average generated $2 billion in petrochemical export a year to the EU states in the pre-sanctions era, but that could double upon the completion of several incomplete projects.

In related news, NPC managing director Abbas Shari Moghadam, said Iran needs an estimated $8 billion investment in the petrochemical sector to make up for drawbacks in the past several years.

There are now 62 major incomplete projects in the petrochemical sector that need foreign investment. The minister said these projects could “easily attract $8 billion annually” and increase overall production capacity of petrochemicals by 60 million tons.

Shari Moghaddam also said foreign companies could participate in Iranian petrochemical projects in the form of foreign direct investment once the oil and trade restrictions are lifted. International companies will be able to  invest, and also own and sell petrochemicals after the lifting of the sanctions, he noted.

Iran and the P5+1 (Russia, China, France, Britain, the US plus Germany) reached a preliminary agreement over Tehran’s nuclear energy program on Thursday in Lausanne, Switzerland. The agreement – due to be finalized by a June 30 deadline, calls for removing all trade sanctions against Iran.