Total, Shell offer to build petrochem plant: Iran

Press TV- France’s Total and Anglo-Dutch Shell companies have tabled “serious” proposals for building petrochemical plants in Iran, managing director of the National Iranian Petrochemical Company (NIPC) says. 

“Total and Shell have formally put forward requests for investment and establishment of new petrochemical plants” in Iran, Marzieh Shahdaei told reporters in Tehran on Wednesday.

“We are currently involved in exchange of views and if the problems are removed they will enter Iran’s petrochemical industry,” she said without further explanation.

Shahdaei told a conference in Berlin in August that Iran needed $55 billion for 60 projects in the petrochemicals sector over a period of 10 years.

Companies from Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Japan and even the US have indicated readiness to participate in Iran’s petrochemical projects, according to officials.

“A number of reputable companies have been negotiating with Iran but they have asked us not to reveal their names before the negotiations are finalized so that they don’t face any problems,” Shahdaei said on Wednesday.

Multi-national UOP LLC company has been in negotiations through one of its European branches and announced its readiness to cooperate with Iran on delivery of technology, she added.

German chemical companies BASF and Linde have been cited as weighing investment, worth several billions of dollars, in Iran’s petrochemical industry along with Japan’s Mitsui Group.

The petrochemical industry is the biggest source of foreign earnings for Iran after oil. Last year, Iranian companies exported about $12.8 billion of petrochemical products.

Iran has significantly expanded the range and volume of its petrochemical products over the past few years. The country has become the second largest producer and exporter of petrochemicals in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia.

Iran currently produces 60 million tonnes of petrochemicals a year. This capacity will increase by 8.5 million tonnes by March 2017 when a number of new projects become operational, Shahdaei said on Wednesday.

The official further brushed aside Indian proposals for production of urea in Iran.

“They were after cheap purchases, demanding Iranian gas at five cents in order to produce urea. I am announcing here that Iran will never sell cheap gas to the Indians and it is up to them to decide whether they can negotiate with the Iranian private sector or think of something else,” she said.