PCC Mulls Reopening Office in South Korea

PCC Mulls Reopening Office in South KoreaPCC Mulls Reopening Office in South Korea

Iran's Petrochemical Commercial Company is considering plans to reopen its representative office in South Korea's capital Seoul in the near future, the company's chief executive said on Saturday.

"South Korea has shown interest in purchasing Iran's polymer products. Nonetheless, it can act as a go-between to sell our petrochemical products to China, which explains why exchanging such goods with Seoul must be done cautiously not to lose China's lucrative market," Mehdi Sharifi Niknafs was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Pointing to the termination of financial and banking restrictions between Tehran and Seoul, the official added that reopening the office will help raise petrochemical exports to target markets in Southeast Asia.

South Korea signed an agreement with Iran to double its crude import from the Persian Gulf state. Concurrent with the contract, plans have been made to reopen Iran's petrochemical commercial office in Seoul as soon as possible.

Samsung and LG, South Korea's largest electronics manufacturer, are among Iran's traditional customers, as they have been importing petrochemical products and gas condensates for a long time.

Interestingly, the first consignment of gas condensates produced from the South Pars Gas Field's new phases was sold to South Korea's Hanwha Total Petrochemical Company.

Concurrent with increasing Iran's polymer and petrochemical exports to South Korea, attracting investment to build new petrochemical complexes and state-of-the-art knowhow transfer top the two states' priority list to expand ties in oil, gas and petrochemical sectors.

PCC is in ongoing negotiations to open sales offices in some European Union states such as Spain and in member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States as part of efforts to become a major global producer and exporter of petrochemical products.

Niknafs said PCC has always maintained its overseas sales and distribution offices, despite feeling the pinch of financial trade restrictions over the past few years.

"PCC has nine offices worldwide, including in India, Germany, Singapore, the UK and South Korea, while maintaining operations in Switzerland, Brazil and Indonesia under joint ventures," he said.

Niknafs added that PCC has established warehouses in all target markets to raise its bargaining power by storing petrochemical products.

"For instance, PCC has three sales offices, 20 warehouses and two chemical storage units in China," he said.

Plummeting oil revenues have prompted the Iranian government to build on the country's petrochemical infrastructure and boost exports to make up for a multibillion-dollar dent in next year's budget.

Petrochemical products are Iran's second biggest source of income after crude oil, but officials are confident that the Persian Gulf country can bring in more money from petrochemical products than it makes from oil.

Nominal production capacity currently 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.

To fulfill this ambitious goal, Tehran hopes to raise $70 billion in petrochemical investment over the next 10 years.

Iran sits on one of the world’s largest oil and natural gas reserves, holding 158 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 34 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves.

Iranian officials say inexpensive energy prices, tax exemptions in energy zones and a 78-million-strong market are incentives for attracting multinationals to invest in the country's petrochemical projects.