Mitsui Plans Comeback

Mitsui Plans ComebackMitsui Plans Comeback

Mitsui Group, one of Japan's largest conglomerates, is planning to return to Iran's energy and petrochemical sectors.

"Mitsui can be a major player in Iran's petrochemical industry, in view of its brilliant track record in this sector," Amirhossein Zamaninia, deputy minister for international and commercial affairs, said on Monday, Shana reported.

He made the statement in a meeting with a Mitsui delegation in Tehran, headed by Atsushi Kume, the company's head of Europe, Middle East and Africa business unit.

Zamaninia said Iran needs to invest $80 billion in its petrochemical industry in 10 years, hoping that Mitsui will finance some of the country's largest petrochemical projects.

Petrochemical sector is the second-most valuable industry in Iran, after oil and gas.

The country has a nominal petrochemical production capacity of 60 million tons a year and hopes to foster the growth of the industry largely through foreign direct investment.

Iran wants to raise annual production capacity to 180 million tons in a decade. Mitsui's business in Iran goes back to the 1970s. The company was involved in an array of industrial projects while it reportedly purchased crude oil, petroleum products and petrochemicals for sale in Japan. However, sanctions undermined its trade with Iran.

"Iran plans an important role in the region and partnership with the country is important for Japan," Kume was quoted as saying by Shana. Mitsui is following the lead of a number of high-profile Japanese companies that are actively chasing business opportunities in the Iranian market.

Marubeni Corporation, Japan's fifth-largest general trading company, is reportedly discussing terms to win the rights to develop Iran's Giant South Azadegan Oilfield, though it faces stiff competition from Total S.A. who is also pressing for the field's drilling rights.

Engineering firm JGC Corporation is in advanced talks to build a waste-to-energy plant, also known as waste incinerator, in the city of Amol in the northern Mazandaran Province.

In addition, an unspecified Japanese company has signed a preliminary agreement to reduce mazut production in Tehran Oil Refinery and improve energy efficiency in Abadan Refinery.