Total, NPC to Build New Petrochemical Complex

Total, NPC to Build New Petrochemical ComplexTotal, NPC to Build New Petrochemical Complex

The French oil and gas giant Total and National Petrochemical Company have reached an agreement to jointly construct a petrochemical complex in Iran.

According to Mehr News Agency, the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding on Sunday over setting up a petrochemical complex in cooperation with Iran’s private sector.

Following the removal of international sanctions against Iran on Jan. 16, the French company has bolstered its cooperation with Iran.

Total signed a deal in January to import 160,000 barrels per day of crude from the Persian Gulf country. The deal made the French company the second importer of Iran's crude in Europe, after Hellenic Petroleum, Greece's biggest refiner, following the lifting of sanctions.

The international company also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Research Institute of Petroleum Industry, a subsidiary of Iran's Oil Ministry, last week.

Total is one of the six supermajor oil companies in the world. Its businesses cover the entire oil and gas chain, from crude oil and natural gas exploration and production to power generation, transportation, refining, petroleum marketing and international crude oil and product trading.

The French company is also a large-scale chemicals manufacturer. It was active in developing Iranian energy projects for more than 20 years, including the development of several South Pars phases.

But it ceased operations in 2010 following disagreements over contract terms and pressure from the French and US governments over oil and trade embargos against Tehran.

Based on the MoU, the planned petrochemical complex will include a steam-cracker unit in a coastal area, which will receive ethane, naphtha, liquefied petroleum gas and other liquefied gases as feedstock.

Steam cracker units are facilities, in which a feedstock is thermally cracked through the use of steam to produce olefins, including ethylene and propylene.

In addition to the steam-cracker unit, the complex will have downstream units to sell its products in domestic and international markets.

According to the agreement, Total will conduct feasibility studies of the project based on Iran' laws and regulations.

During the official ceremony, the two sides expressed eagerness to increase cooperation that will be mutually beneficial.