0823 GMT March 23, 2019
"The capacity of the refinery to produce gasoline will increase by 14 million liters through inauguration of the third phase," Managing Director of the Refinery Mohammad-Ali Dadvar said, reported Shana.
He added at present 31 million liters of gasoline is produced in two phases of the refinery, while the volume will increase to 45 million liters after the third phase will be fully operational.
Despite being a major oil producer, Iran used to import gasoline to fill the gap between domestic supply and consumption. The imports turned into Iran’s strategic vulnerability after the West imposed sanctions on the country in 2012.
The Persian Gulf Star Refinery is owned by the Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Investment Company (49 percent), Oil Industry Pension Fund (33.1 percent) and National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) (17.9 percent).
Billed as the Middle East's largest condensate refinery, it enables Iran to export gasoline and other high-value products.
It also has a processing capacity of roughly 360,000 barrels of gas condensate.
In January, 2018, Iran sold its first consignment of naphtha produced at the Persian Gulf Star Refinery to the United Arab Emirates.
There is already a strong demand in Asia for naphtha which is used to produce products such as ethylene and propylene, the building blocks of plastics. Strong economic growth in countries such as India is expected to generate fresh interest in the product.