$70b Opportunity in Petrochem Sector

$70b Opportunity in Petrochem Sector$70b Opportunity in Petrochem Sector

Iran's petrochemical projects have the capacity to attract $70 billion in investment, the secretary of the Association of Petrochemical Industry Corporation (APIC) said, IRNA reported Friday.

"Reaching a final agreement [on Tehran's nuclear program with world powers] paves the way for significant foreign investments in the petrochemical sector, Ahmad Mahdavi said, taking stock of the exports of petrochemicals, exceeding $14 billion in the previous Iranian year (ended March 2015).

Having the world’s second biggest natural gas reserves after Russia and the fourth-largest proven oil reserves, Iran can accelerate the development of petrochemical projects, according to Mahdavi. There has been some fluctuation in petrochemical companies' stock prices recently, but "the situation is ripe for growth", he reiterated.

Deputy Oil Minister Abbas Shari-Moghadam had earlier projected the value of petrochemical projects at $30 billion, underlining Chinese and Indian firms among major investors interested in Iranian projects once the sanctions are removed. The official announced a nuclear deal would facilitate not only the exchange of technology but also the transfer of money. After eight days of marathon talks on Tehran's nuclear program in Lausanne, Switzerland, Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, the US plus Germany) reached a framework agreement on April 2 that calls for terminating all trade sanctions the details of which are to be finalized by June 30.

According to estimates, annual petrochemical output could surpass 66 million tons by March 2016. Iran produced more than 44 million tons of petrochemicals in the past year.