News ID: 171432
Published: 0700 GMT November 02, 2016

NPC: Total, Shell to invest in Iran's petchem industry

NPC: Total, Shell to invest in Iran's petchem industry

Global prices of $240 for a ton of ethane have prompted Shell and Total to invest in Iran's petrochemical industry, said managing director of National Petrochemical Company.

According to Shana, Marzieh Shahdaei further said that in recent talks with Total, the company has announced its willingness to set up an ethane cracker plant as well as two poly-ethylene units in Iran.

The current global price of ethane is reasonable, said the official, adding that investors have expressed readiness to enter Iran's market.

Based on estimates, she said that the current feed price for petrochemical industry secures profits to the tune of at least 25 percent for companies.

The NPC official noted that her company has turned down India's proposal of 4-5 cents per cubic meter for gas feed for its urea and ammonia plants.

Companies from Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Japan and even the US have indicated readiness to participate in Iran's petrochemical projects, according to the official.

"A number of reputable companies have been negotiating with Iran but they have asked us not to disclose their names before the negotiations are finalized so that they don't face any problems," Shahdaei said.

German chemical companies BASF and Linde have been cited as weighing investment options, worth several billions of dollars, in Iran's petrochemical industry along with Japan's Mitsui Group.

The petrochemical industry is the biggest source of foreign earnings for Iran after oil. Last year, Iranian companies exported petrochemical products valued at about $12.8 billion.

Iran has significantly expanded the range and volume of its petrochemical products over the past few years. The country has become the second largest producer and exporter of petrochemicals in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia.

Iran currently produces 60 million tonnes of petrochemicals a year. This capacity will increase by 8.5 million tonnes by March 2017 once a number of new projects become operational, Shahdaei said on Wednesday.

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