S. Africa preparing to hike Iran crude imports

TEHRAN (FNA)- South Africa voiced interest to partner in the construction of new refineries in Iran as well as increasing its crude imports from the country.

After a meeting with South African Deputy Energy Minister Thembisile Majola in Tehran on Sunday, Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Mansour Moaszemi announced that South Africans are to have talks with officials from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) about construction of new refineries and developing the capacity of the present ones in the Islamic Republic.

“The African country is even ready to buy petrochemicals from Iran and is setting the grounds to take part in Iranian projects to produce Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as well as Gas to Liquid (GTL),” he said.

He said Pretoria has been among major importers of Iran’s crude oil but the volume of its purchases has been restricted due to the US-led sanctions on Iran in the past years.

“The country aims to increase its imports of crude oil up to 380,000 barrels per day,” Moazemi said.

Following the negotiations with Iranian officials, South African Deputy Energy Minister said that Pretoria views Iran as a reliable future supplier of crude oil and plans to start talks with major corporations that are involved in its energy sector including Shell, BP, Total and Chevron to resume trade of crude oil with Tehran as soon as the sanctions against Iran are lifted.

Majola vowed that her country is specifically eager to facilitate the transfer of GTL technology to Iran to help it promote its gas production plans.

By Fars News Agency