Talks Underway to Resume Petrochem Exports to Egypt

Talks Underway to Resume Petrochem Exports to EgyptTalks Underway to Resume Petrochem Exports to Egypt

Serious negotiations are underway to restart the sale of strategic petrochemical commodities and liquefied natural gas export to Egypt, the deputy head of Iran's Association of Petrochemical Industry Corporation said on Tuesday.

“Egypt's green light to Iran to use the SUMED oil pipeline in Egypt to access the Mediterranean Sea and boost crude exports to Europe from there has paved the way for the Persian Gulf state's LNG export to the African state,” Parviz Sahafzadeh was also quoted as saying by IRNA.

Pointing to the fifth D-8 Ministerial Meeting on Industry hosted by Egypt on 9-11 May 2016, Sahafzadeh noted that constructive talks were held between Iran's representatives and those of other states, including Malaysia, Nigeria and Egypt, to further develop energy ties. Moreover, Iran's chairmanship of petrochemical workgroup secretariat was renewed.

The D-8, aka Developing-8, is an organization promoting development cooperation among Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey and Bangladesh. The objectives of D-8 are to improve member states’ position in the global economy, diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations, enhance participation in decision-making at the international level and improve standards of living.

Underscoring the fact that some Egyptian enterprises have shown interest in importing polymer and petrochemical products from Iran, Sahafzadeh said the termination of sanctions has facilitated the development of bilateral trade between the two states, especially in the field of petrochemical production and export.

"A list of Egypt's much-needed petrochemical items have been given to Iranian firms," he said, predicting that following up ongoing negotiations will definitely result in contracts and the export of a wide range of petrochemical commodities to the African state. According to the official, prior to the imposition of western sanctions against Iran, petrochemical products and LNG were exported from Iran to Egypt.

Currently, LNG cargoes are being sent to Egypt by an unnamed Iranian petrochemical company and as soon as negotiations come to fruition, different petrochemical goods will flood Egypt's lucrative market.

Stressing that the D-8 convention was a great opportunity to resume energy relations with Egypt, Sahafzadeh said not only investment capacities in Iran's petrochemical sector were presented to member states, but it was also emphasized that there was no restrictions on launching joint petrochemical ventures in the Persian Gulf state.

Asked about the resumption of exports through the SUMED oil pipeline that provides an alternative to the Suez Canal for transporting oil from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean, Amirhossein Zamaninia, Iran's deputy oil minister for international affairs, said, "An understanding has been reached for large vessels [carrying Iran's crude] to unload their cargo in [a terminal in] the Red Sea and reload it after transferring their crude through the SUMED pipeline to the Mediterranean." He, however, did not say when exports could resume.

According to Rokneddin Javadi, deputy oil minister for supervision on hydrocarbon resources, there are no limitations on selling oil or its byproducts to Egypt and official proposals will be considered.