Gasoline Imports to Continue

Gasoline Imports to Continue
Gasoline Imports to Continue

The National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) has called on the government to extend permission for the import of 10 million liters of gasoline per day in the next Iranian calendar year (March 2015-2016), Mehr news agency said in a report.

Iran was to become self-reliant in gasoline production and even start exports in summer, but things did not go according to plans due to a delay in construction of several refineries.

Construction of the Esfahan Oil Refinery is completed, however, it has yet to start operation due to lack of certain catalysts for gasoline production. The Bandar Abbas Oil Refinery in south Iran is facing funding difficulties.

It has not been possible to supply the catalyst from outside Iran due to the sanctions, and a plan is being designed by Iranian experts to produce it inside the country.

Additionally, development of the Persian Gulf Star Oil Refinery in the port city of Bandar Abbas is 70 percent completed, but its target to produce 36 million barrels of ‘Euro 4’ gasoline per day is unlikely to be achieved by next year.

Given the current gasoline production capacity, production of 40-50 million barrels of gasoline per day target is out of reach for next year. The NIORDC is urged to start the supply of Euro 4 gasoline to eight major cities next year, but for now the import of gasoline appears to be a more viable option.

The increasing demand for gasoline should see through the completion of the first phase Persian Gulf Star refinery and an increase in gasoline production capacity in the other refineries, while reducing heavier fuels production.

A deputy manager at the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC), Shahrokh Khosravani, said in November that the launch of new gasoline producing facility in the Isfahan refinery and the first phase of the Persian Gulf Star Refinery will put an end to “the import of the gasoline to cease from the next Iranian year (March 2015).”