Tabriz to Emerge as Petrochemical Hub

Tabriz to Emerge as Petrochemical HubTabriz to Emerge as Petrochemical Hub

Production of a wide range of petrochemicals in Tabriz Petrochemical Company can not only help play a key role in development of petrochemical downstream industries in the region but also transform Tabriz into a new petrochemical hub, managing director of the National Petrochemical Company said on Monday.

“Capacity of the complex to manufacture 11 major products of various grades, including polyethylene and polystyrene, can help expand the growth of supplementary industries in the region,” Marzieh Shahdaei was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Pointing to the availability of educated and skilled workforce in the Tabriz Complex, Shahdaei said, "Plans have been made to exploit the potential of domestic workforce to help augment development plans."

Underscoring the fact that necessary industrial infrastructure has  been created in TPC, the official added that the complex can and should play a major role in completing the petrochemical value chain, which explains why plans call for long-term cooperation between Tabriz refinery and TPC with the aim of unleashing shared potentials.

Stressing that petrochemical exports contribute substantially to   non-oil exports , Shahdaei said that NPC is willing to provide all petrochemical units with natural gas for feedstock. The main feedstock for Tabriz complex is light and heavy naphtha, liquefied petroleum gas and mineral oil. A major proportion of the feedstock is supplied by Tabriz and Tehran refineries and other NPC complexes in southern Iran.

The NPC chief noted that, diversity of Iran's petrochemical industries' feedstock is definitely a bargaining chip compared to that of competitors.  Iran's petrochemical feedstock comprises ethane, gas condensates, liquefied gas and naphtha, whereas the only feedstock Saudis can rely on is their crude and the liquefied gas extracted simultaneously with the oil.

"The complex managed to produce and sell more than 368,000 tons of different kinds of petrochemical goods to domestic and international markets in 2015," Javad Soleimani, the head of TPC said, noting that plans have been devised to increase production by 17%  that is manufacturing as many as 384,000 tons  in 2016.

   Meeting Demand

The complex's current production level should rise three-fold to meet the demand of regional and international markets, Shahdaei said, calling for the completion of West Ethylene Pipeline project to provide the complex with ethylene.

Initiated in 2002, the 2,450-kilometer pipeline will carry ethylene from Asalouyeh to the provinces of Khuzestan, Lorestan, Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari, Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad, Kermanshah, Kurdestan and West Azarbaijan.

Some petrochemical plants, including Arvand, Qadir, Rejal, Amir Kabir, Lorestan, Ilam, Mahabad and Kermanshah, were connected to the pipeline earlier.

The pipeline is expected to supply feedstock to more than 11 petrochemical plants, including the Tabriz complex.

According to the official, not only some Middle East and African states but also European countries such as Italy, Greece, France and Russia are among TPC's customers.

Establishing desulfurization units and preventing massive amounts of associated petroleum gas (APG) from flaring top are among the company's eco-friendly plans.

APG is a form of natural gas found with deposits of petroleum. It is often released as a waste product from the petroleum extraction industry. When it is burnt off as gas flares, it is referred to as flare gas.