BASF, Linde discuss reviving Iran projects

The world’s largest chemical producer BASF and industrial gases company Linde have discussed return to Iran’s petrochemical sector.

Executives of the two companies met energy officials in Tehran Monday to discuss investment and transfer of technology, Managing Director of Iran’s National Petrochemical Company (NPC) Abbas She’ri Moqaddam said.

BASF and Linde have sent their representatives to Iran with German Minister of Economy Sigmar Gabriel to resurrect projects which were put on ice after sanctions were imposed on Tehran in 2011.

European companies are in a rush for a hinterland of trade opportunities in Iran after adopting a sour grape approach toward the country for years. Their return comes in the wake of finalized nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.

On Monday, the EU endorsed the talks as did the UN Security Council, paving the way for the removal of sanctions which have curbed business with the Islamic Republic for years.

She’ri-Moqaddam said Iran’s petrochemical sector had a capacity to absorb $70 billion of investment but the country was also in a quest for the transfer of technology.

“National Petrochemical Company’s cooperation with German firms is conditional to investment. NPC has defined 100 projects so far, pending financing which could come from investment by German companies.”

The official said his company also planned to negotiate with French and Dutch companies.

Chinese companies, including Sinopec, have also indicated an interest in investing in Iran’s petrochemical industry.

“Iran has turned into a key priority for anyone involved in Middle East petrochemicals trade,” Euardo van-Zeller Neto at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants told energy news provider Platts earlier this month.

The petrochemical industry is the biggest source of foreign earnings for Iran after oil. Several petrochemical companies are listed on Iran’s main bourse, offering a variety of commodities for trade.

Last year, Iranian companies exported $14 billion of petrochemical products. Iran’s total petrochemical production capacity stands at 60 million metric tons per year which the country plans to double.

By Press TV