Plans to Increase Gasoline Production

Plans to Increase Gasoline ProductionPlans to Increase Gasoline Production

Of the 70 million liters of gasoline consumed daily in the country, only 62 million liters are produced by domestic refineries, managing director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company announced on Tuesday.

"NIORDC has imported 8 million liters of gasoline per day since the beginning of the current Iranian year (ending March 19, 2016) to meet the ever-increasing need for the strategic commodity," Abbas Kazemi was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

"The Oil Ministry has set an agenda to launch five new Euro-4 gasoline and diesel production plans. Iran has imported 2.7 billion liters of gasoline since March 20, 2015, indicating a 1-billion-liter rise compared with the corresponding period of last year."

Kazemi noted that Isfahan Refinery's isomerization gasoline unit, with a production capacity of 7 million liters of Euro-4 gasoline per day, became operational in October 2015.

The Oil Ministry has devised plans to increase production capacity by as much as 11 million liters by March 2016. It has also taken effective steps to reduce the distribution of low-quality gasoline and increase the supply of Euro-4 gasoline.

According to the official, Isfahan Refinery's development plan is of great importance and as soon as it becomes operational, a large number of cities and towns located in the vicinity of this province will be provided by Euro-4 gasoline.

Highlighting the implementation of Lavan refinery's quality improvement and capacity optimization master plan, Kazemi noted that the refinery is waiting to receive the much-needed catalysts.

Bandar Abbas Oil Refinery Company's quality improvement plan has made 96% progress and its output is predicted to increase by 3 million liters per day by May 2016.

"Unlike last year when oil byproducts' import and export balance was negative, we managed to export diesel and liquefied gas sustainably all year round. The Oil Ministry is looking forward to the completion of the first phase of Persian Gulf Star Refinery's Euro-4 gasoline complex, with a production capacity of 12 million liters per day, as it will put an end to gasoline import," he said.

"Iranian researchers have succeeded in manufacturing 25 catalysts, including the catalyst used in the production of Euro-4 gasoline. With the aim of producing Euro-4 gasoline in Shiraz refinery, the isomerization unit has come into partial operation and will be completed with an investment of $55 million."

Kazemi noted that the refining industry's profit margin is low in the world because of which refiners must adapt themselves to market volatility.

Iran's mazut production stands at 26% whereas Europeans have reduced it to as low as 2%. As long as refineries' shareholders do not make strategic plans to convert mazut to higher value-added products such as gasoline or diesel, they will have to continue their business with the lowest profitability ratios.

Kazemi believes that to complete refinery development plans, NIORDC needs investment worth $13 billion.