Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Bijan Namdar Zanganeh (file photo)

Iran begins major ethane project

Iran has begun construction of an ethane processing plant which is hoped to produce feedstock for $2 billion of petrochemical products per year.

Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh on Thursday attended the start of the construction work near the southern city of Shiraz where the massive Parsian petrochemical complex is located.

“The extraction of ethane and heavy hydrocarbons at Parsian is a massive project which begins today with the start of executive operations,” he said.

Ethane is a component of natural gas which is separated for use as an important petrochemical feedstock.

According to the Ministry of Petroleum’s news outlet Shana, the project is being carried out with $900 million of investment which will become complete in three years.

Each day, about 70 million cubic meters of natural gas will be transferred to the Parsian refinery which will separate 17% of its ethane content for use in downstream industries and as feedstock.

“This means 3.5 million tonnes of feedstock will be separated from this volume of natural gas, including 1.5 million tonnes of ethane,” Zangeneh said.

The location of the Parsian ethane plant near Shiraz in southern Iran.

The extracted ethane will be transferred through an ethylene pipeline to Firouzabad, Darab, Fasa, Jahrom and Estahban petrochemical plants, which will annually produce $2 billion of products, he added.

According to statistical energy reviews, Iran holds the world’s largest proven natural gas reserves, at 33.8 trillion cubic meters or 18.2% of the total proven reserves.

The country’s proven oil deposit is estimated 157 billion barrels, the fourth-biggest after Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and, Canada.

By Press TV