Petrochemical Giants in Tehran

Petrochemical Giants in TehranPetrochemical Giants in Tehran

Tehran is hosting the representatives of 368 domestic and 97 foreign companies from 25 countries on Sunday at the 12th Iran Petrochemical Forum (IPF 2015) in a two-day event to introduce investment opportunities in the petrochemical sector in the post-sanctions period.

First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Managing Director of National Petrochemical Company Abbas Sheri-Moqaddam address the opening day of the forum.

Major international petrochemical companies, including from Russia, Belgium, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Italy, South Korea, Turkey, the UK and the UAE, are attending the forum, with American enterprises represented through their Spanish counterparts.

More than 1,400 people, including prominent figures and executives in the petrochemical sector, are expected to attend the forum on Sunday. Last year, the forum gathered 380 domestic and international firms as well as 70 foreign guests in the Iranian capital.

Sheri-Moqaddam described IPF as a platform to discuss the transfer of technology and said the removal of financial restrictions would boost petrochemical exports, as additional shipment costs will be eliminated.

“The strong participation of foreign companies at the IPF marks the importance of Iranian petrochemical projects … Negotiations will be made to lay the groundwork for the presence of global firms in the petrochemical sector after the lifting of sanctions," he said.

The country’s actual petrochemical output is expected to exceed 50 million tons in the Iranian year ending March 19, 2016.

Nominal production capacity stands at 60 million tons a year, but plans call for doubling the volume by 2021 and raising the output to an ambitious 180 million tons a year by 2025. According to reports, petrochemical exports reached 16 million tons last year worth $10 billion.

The Persian Gulf nation has opened doors to international investors after it reached an agreement with six world powers (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) in July to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

The IPF is the third major assembly of international bodies and corporations in the Iranian capital in a space of weeks. Ministers and nine heads of state of members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum gathered in Tehran for the Third GECF Summit on Nov. 23.

Later that month, a new contractual framework for 52 oil and natural gas projects were unveiled to representatives of 152 international companies from 45 countries in one of the biggest events in Iran’s energy sector in recent history.