Mitsubishi Keen on Petrochem Investment

Mitsubishi Keen on Petrochem InvestmentMitsubishi Keen on Petrochem Investment

Mitsubishi has expressed interest in making investment in Iran's petrochemical industry to secure a place in the emerging market.

This was announced by Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation's CEO and President Hitoshi Ochi in a recent meeting with Deputy Oil Minister Abbas Sheri-Moqaddam.

Recalling his company's multimillion-dollar purchase of Iranian petrochemical products over the past five years, Ochi said the Islamic Republic can be a good investment target for Japan, as it holds the world's largest oil and gas reserves.

During the meeting, Sheri-Moqaddam took stock of Japan's earlier partnership in the construction of Bandar Imam Petrochemical Complex and the country's direct investment in Borzouyeh and Isfahan petrochemical companies, Moj News Agency reported.

"Thanks to collaborations with international companies, Iran has managed to create the capacity for producing over 60 million tons of petrochemicals," he said.

The deputy minister noted that 99% of Iran's petrochemical industry have been relinquished to the private sector as per the amendment to Article 44 of Iran's Constitution that calls for speeding up the move toward economic privatization

Currently, the National Iranian Petrochemical Company is the only state organization in the field, catering to private ones on the path of industrial development.

The sector has drawn up a 10-year roadmap for development of petrochemical industry, based on which more than 100 new petrochemical units will be developed in the country to produce 180 million tons a day from the current 62 million tons.

Sheri-Moqaddam named the 24 projects underway in the second phase of petrochemical plants in Asalouyeh as a potential area of cooperation between the two sides, since "various facets of the projects, most of which are urea, ammoniac, methanol and olefin units, are pending foreign finances to pick up the pace.

"The Iranian government should find ways to reassure Japanese investors of a fixed price and formula for the feedstock, and end-product delivery for at least the next 10-15 years," Ochi said.

The Iranian petrochemical industry needs and welcomes foreign direct investments, particularly in the downstream sector, Sheri-Moqaddam said, envisioning a fruitful cooperation between the two Asian states given Iran's hefty share of oil and gas reserves.

"The total price of gas is currently 85% of that in the US and the Islamic Republic will be the world's sole holder of gas reserves in future," he said.

Iran, one of the world's top oil producers, exported around $14 billion worth of petrochemicals in 2014, down from more than $18 billion in 2011.

Annual petrochemical output in the previous two Iranian years accounted for 40.5 million tons and 44.5 million tons respectively.

The volume is expected to surpass the 50-million-ton milestone in the Iranian year ending March 19, 2016, upon the completion of several SP phases and a hike in ethane production.

It expects total petrochemical exports to hit $11 billion while domestic sales are estimated to reach $11.1 billion, bringing the overall value of petrochemical sales to exceed $22 billion by March.