Regaining Petrochemical Market Share in Europe

Regaining Petrochemical  Market Share in EuropeRegaining Petrochemical  Market Share in Europe

Regaining the lost market share in Europe is the top priority of the National Petrochemical Company, as Europeans are not willing to invest in petrochemical projects due to their limited feedstock resources, NPC’s coordination and supervision director said on Tuesday.

“Europeans have to meet their petrochemical needs by importing from other states and this is the opportunity which we should take full advantage,” Ali Mohammad Bosaqzadeh was also quoted as saying by ILNA.  

According to the official, Iran exported 25% of its output to Europe during the pre-sanctions era. Nonetheless, it declined to less than 5% when the world powers enforced banking and trade sanctions on the Persian Gulf country.

Noting that Iran’s petrochemical goods are being exported to the Middle and Far East as well as Africa, Bosaqzadeh said it is projected that lifting sanctions will help Iran not only diversify its export targets but also have a say in the international markets.

According to the official, NPC’s export volume experienced a 26% rise compared with the corresponding period of last year and more than 60% of petrochemical complexes’ outputs were exported to target destinations. Furthermore, more than 43 million tons of petrochemical commodities were manufactured by February 2016 and plans call for raising production to 46 million tons by the end of the current Iranian year (ending March 19, 2016).

Bosaqzadeh said the nominal production capacity exceeds 79%, which is projected to register a 6% growth compared to that of last year, but the ambitious goal cannot be reached unless the much-need investment is raised.

“The cost of exporting petrochemical products is expected to decline, as negotiations are underway with shipping companies to provide petrochemical units with better logistic facilities in the near future to boost export competition,” he said.  

 Kurdestan Petrochem Plant

According to Fereydoun Khaledzadeh, managing director of Kurdestan Petrochemical Complex, said by making 97% physical progress, the complex will go on stream in the first half of the next Iranian year (starting March 20).

“The plan is at a pre-launch phase and plans have been made to make it fully operational in less than six months,” he said.

Underscoring the fact that the plant is one of the highly-prioritized petrochemical projects in Iran, Khaledzadeh said, “The petrochemical complex is expected to process 300,000 tons of light polyethylene per year. The project is being undertaken with an estimated cost of $374 million. Moreover, the plant is equipped with cutting-edge machinery and devices.”

On the much-needed feedstock, he added that the plant is one of the numerous petrochemical plants constructed along West Ethylene Pipeline.

Initiated in 2002, the pipeline is to carry ethylene from Asalouyeh, south of Iran, to the western provinces of Khuzestan, Lorestan, Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari, Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad, Kermanshah, Kurdestan and West Azarbaijan.

West Ethylene Pipeline has the capacity to carry 3.5 million tons of ethylene.

The 2,450-kilometer pipeline is designed to transport ethylene from the Pars Special Economic Energy Zone situated in Asalouyeh to West Azarbaijan Province. Currently, 11 provinces and 14 petrochemical plants are located on the route of the pipeline.

 It is reportedly the longest ethylene transfer pipeline in the world, with a final capacity to transfer 2.5 million tons of ethylene per annum.

The main suppliers of the pipeline are Kavian Petrochemical Complex in Bushehr Province and Arvand Petrochemical Complex in Khuzestan Province.

Once fully operational, it will supply feedstock to 11 petrochemical complexes, including Mahshahr, Andimeshk, Lorestan, Kermanshah, Hamedan, Kurdestan, Mahabad and Miandoab.

The West Ethylene Pipeline can also be utilized to export petrochemical products to the western and northern neighbors, namely Iraq, Turkey, Georgia and Armenia.