By: Maryam Azish

Foreign companies eyes petchem investments in Iran

News ID: 4161050 -
TEHRAN, Dec. 04 (MNA) – Iran's outstanding investment security and advantages in petrochemical sector including abundant feedstock supply and skilled domestic labor entice foreign investors into considering serious presence in the OPEC member's petrochemical sector.

For sure developing downstream industries is considered as a best way to secure economic growth in Iran and boosting petrochemical exports would reduce sale of crude oil and gas.

Iran's outstanding investment security and advantages in petrochemical sector including abundant feedstock supply and skilled domestic labor entice foreign investors into considering serious presence in‌ the OPEC member's petrochemical sector.

Recently, the Islamic Republic of Iran is expanding its petrochemical sector at a rapid pace.

Thanks to Iran's petrochemical output, which was below three million tonnes in the early years following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the country’s petrochemical output has exceeded 60 million tonnes a year.

Fortunately, petrochemical industry is one of Iran's priorities to attract foreign investment.

Ministry of Petroleum has recently taken great strides with regard to attracting foreign investment, among which are the development of a new model for oil and gas contracts, signing big oil deals, attracting investment into jointly owned fields, and cooperating with foreign companies.

Dynamic Industry

On late October, Iran's First Vice-President Es'haq Jahangiri said petrochemical industry is dynamic and economically justified, adding that the Ministry of Petroleum has put much effort into improving this knowledge-based industry, particularly in downstream sector.

"The new oil contracts, whose restructuring took too much time, was welcomed by many pundits in the country. Today is the best chance for world majors to cooperate with Iran's oil and gas sector," said Jahangiri.

He said that Iran, which sits atop the world's largest hydrocarbon reserves, has to boost its position further, Shana wrote.

"Our top priority for using foreign resources is to allocate them to the private sector," he said.

"The ground is prepared for national development and we have to take advantage of this chance. We seek cooperation with the world and of course we are ready for any conditions whatsoever," he added.

Fresh Investments

Recently, Hossein Alimorad, director of investment at National Petrochemical Company (NPC) said Iran is close to absorbing over 5 billion dollars in fresh investments by three European majors in the near future.

Alimorad said talks are under way with many international energy majors for concluding investment of over 5 billion dollars in petrochemical projects in Iran.

He said NPC has so far signed over $10b worth of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with leading foreign developers from Asia and Europe for completing petrochemical projects. 

NPC has devised policies to absorb fresh investments in petrochemical projects by leading domestic and international companies in the wake of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) implementation.

Uzbekistan Investment

On November, Reza Norouzzadeh, Managing Director of the National Petrochemical Company (NPC), said Uzbekistan is keen on investing in areas that enjoy vast gas reserves while having easy access to high seas like Iran.

Following a meeting with Alisher Sultanov, deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, in Tehran, Norouzzadeh said Tashkent is also interested in investing in petrochemical projects in Iran.

"A representative from NPC and a representative from Uzbekistan have been designated for pursuing planning of the investment," the official who is also deputy petroleum minister for petrochemical affairs further added.

Iran will pitch its petrochemical projects to Uzbek investors for carrying out appraisal studies on the schemes.

The official further said that Uzbekistan is mostly keen on financing methanol-to-olefin projects in Iran.

Paradise for Investors

Meanwhile, a top Iranian legislator, Javad Hosseinikia, said there are no legal barriers for foreign investors in Iran, adding the country enjoys favorable conditions for foreign financiers.

Describing Iran as a paradise for foreign investors, he said the fair offers domestic companies a chance to introduce their potentialities to the world and attracts foreign investors to the petrochemical sector.

Petchem Products

Recently, Managing Director of National Petrochemical Company (NPC) Marziyeh Shahdaei announced that Iranian polymer producers are expected to yield 12 million tons of polymer products by the end of the 6th five-year development plan to 2022.

She said production will rise from currently 7.5 million tons per year.

Iran's National Petrochemical Company (NPC) has planned to facilitate production of 13 new petrochemical products by the end of the 6th five-year development plan to 2022.

NPC is planning to import the required technical savvy and licenses from across the globe for production of the items.

NPC is currently in talks with major international energy and chemical leaders including Total, Technip, Air Liquide, BASF, Linde Group, Mitsui and Sojitz, Haldor Topsoe, etc.

Completion of propane and butane production chains is one of NPC's key strategies for diversifying petrochemical output of the country.

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