The panel was presided over by Marzieh Shahdaei, who is CEO of
Iran's National Petrochemical Company (NPC).
She highlighted the contribution of petrochemical sector to Iran's
economy, saying: "The growing trend of petrochemical industry depends on
improved and expanded international relations."
She said that petrochemical industry had a 35% share in Iran's
non-oil exports and a 39% share in the country's industrial exports. She added
that these percentages had significantly increased from the previous years.
Shahdaei described petrochemical industry as a highly competitive
sector in the world, saying: "In order to preserve its standing in this
industry in the world, Iran has to act competitively."
She said that, by the end of March 2017, 50 petrochemical plants
with a production capacity of 62 million tonnes were operating. During the last
calendar year to March, 21 million tonnes of petrochemicals, worth $10 billion,
Shahdaei said there were 56 petrochemical projects in Iran, whose
startup would add 55 million tonnes to the current production capacity.
She said some petrochemical projects had been slow in progress due
to insufficient technical knowhow and financial shortages. "We hope that
some obstacles blocking the progress of these projects would be removed.
According to plans, future projects would be based on using gas and hydrocarbon
She said that one of objectives pursued in the 6th
Five-Year Economic Development Plan would be to produce propylene through
converting natural gas to olefin and also converting propane to propylene.
Shahdaei said that the operation of 10 petrochemical projects in
the last calendar year with an investment of $3 billion, the petrochemical
production capacity increased 5 million tonnes.
In the current calendar year, she added, operation of five more
projects with $3 billion investment would add 10 million tonnes to the
petrochemical industry production capacity. She expressed hope that 1,700 new
jobs would be created.
"In its approach the petrochemical industry has focused on
using such advantages as access to feedstock, realizing the objectives of
resilient economy and indigenizing modern technologies," said Shahdaei.
She said that petrochemical projects needed foreign financing or
credit lines in foreign banks. "Serving as facilitator, the NPC has had
meetings with European and Asian banks," she said.
"With the help of the Ministry of Petroleum, negotiations are
under way to establish project funds at home and abroad to provide necessary
financing for the petrochemical projects," said Shahdaei.
New Chapter in Foreign Ties
Reinhart Vogel, director of petrochemical projects at Germany's
Linde, highlighted the high profitability of olefin units in Iran, saying
upgrading these units would boost their output.
He said Iran had made good progress in petrochemical sector and
stressed the need for the completion of incomplete projects.
Vogel said financing, supplying feedstock and building facilities
were among the main indicators of petrochemical industry growth.
talks with Tehran after the lifting of international sanctions in early 2016
and signed its first contract, worth $40 million, in August last year with a
domestic company on providing licenses to manufacture a range of petrochemicals
with higher value added.
spent $288 million on 296 new patents filed in 2016, France's Air Liquide is
keen to use its know-how to boost the efficiency of Iranian petrochemical
units," Thomas Wurzel, the company's director for E&C, Downstream and
is an inevitable and constant element," Wurzel said as he elaborated on
Air Liquide's plans to license technologies to convert methanol into
petrochemicals that generate higher profit.
is an important link in the petrochemical value chain … It can be used as an
intermediate or final product," he noted, pointing to the beginning of a
"new chapter" in Air Liquide's relations with Iran.
Engineering signed a memorandum of understanding with the Petrochemical
Research and Technology Company of Iran in August on transferring
state-of-the-art technology to convert methanol into propylene.
company is an engineering, construction and chemical process licensing company.
Since 2007, it has been part of Air Liquide S. A., a multinational company that
supplies industrial gases and services to industries.
Miramontes, sales director at UOP Limited, also saw a unique window of
opportunity in Iran for converting methanol into other petrochemicals.
ready to collaborate on licensing two major petrochemical processes;
methanol-to-olefins and propane dehydrogenation," Miramontes said.
that global demand for propane, which is also known as propylene, will rise by
36% by 2025, indicating that it would be a smart move to invest in advanced
propylene production technologies.
dehydrogenation is a step in the production of propylene from propane.
Propylene is the second most important starting product in the petrochemical
industry after ethylene. It is the raw material for plastic polypropylene, a
component that is mainly used in the automotive, textile and packaging
a multinational supplier of technology to refining, gas processing,
petrochemical and manufacturing industries.
Courtesy of Iran Petroleum