Gasoline Imports Hit Record

Gasoline Imports Hit RecordGasoline Imports Hit Record

Gasoline imports have hit a record high since implementation of Iran's subsidy reform plan, statistics published by Fars news agency suggests.

While gasoline consumption in the current year has been equal to that of the corresponding period last year, production has decreased 13 percent in the April-May period.

On average, 7.8 million liters of gasoline were imported per day during the current year, but the figure reached 10 million liters in the said period. This is a record high since the targeted subsidies law went into effect on January 5, 2010.

Gasoline consumption has increased by 1.8 percent in the last Iranian calendar year (ended March 20) compared with the previous year, while production declined approximately 4 percent last year.

Production averaged 65 million liters per day (ml/d) last year, but the figure has been reduced to 59 ml/d in the current year.

According to the report, one of the reasons behind the production cut is prolongation of overhaul operations in Imam Khomeini Oil Refinery of Shazand (Arak), which provides the country with Euro-4 Standard gasoline.

Gasoline production capacity is expected to reach 64 million liters per day upon completion of nine development projects in several refineries, including gasoline production units at Abadan, Tabriz, Isfahan, Bandar Abbas, Tehran (Shahid Tondgouyan), Imam Khomeini (Shazand), Persian Gulf Star (Setareh Khalij-e-Fars) and Lavan oil refineries.

Under a five-year plan started in December 2010, and promoted as an “economic revolution” by former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran began slashing three-decades-old subsidies on sensitive energy and food items, replacing them with disputable cash payments to the poorest of the population.

The reform, officially referred to as Targeted Subsidy Reform, made Iran the first major energy producing and exporting country to cut drastically massive indirect subsidies to energy products and replace them with across the board energy dividend transfers to the population.