Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec.21 /Trend F.Milad/
Some 150 trillion rials ($122 billion) will be invested in Iran's refineries by the end of the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (March 2016), deputy Iranian oil minister said on Friday.
The needed money will be financed by foreign and domestic investors, the Fars News Agency quoted Alireza Zeighami as saying.
Half of this amount has been already invested in the sector, he explained.
The development operation of Lavan and Tabriz oil refineries' gasoline production units will be completed by the end of current Iranian calendar year (March 19, 2013), he said.
According to Zeighami, the development operation of Isfahan and Bandar Abbas oil refineries' gasoline production units will also come on stream by April, 2013 and March 2014, respectively.
Zeighami earlier this month had said that, Iran's gasoline production capacity will surpass 70 million liters per day by the end of April, 2013.
Iran's gasoline production capacity currently stands at around 55 million liters per day, and once the RFCC unit of Shazand Refinery come on stream the country's capacity will reach 65 million liters, he said.
Zeighami, also the Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC), went on to note that 4 other gasoline production units will be inaugurated by the end of April and once they start their production Iran's gasoline production capacity will reach 70 million liters per day.
Iran's average gasoline consumption is 64 million liters per day, he added.
The Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Engineering and Construction Company Farhad Ahmadi said on December15 that Iran needs to invest 150 million Euros in some of its refineries to boost the nation's gasoline production capacity by 6 million liters per day, Sunday.
Once the development plans of Bandar Abbas Oil Refinery and the RFCC unit of Shazand Refinery come on stream, Iran will stop producing gasoline in petrochemical complexes, the Mehr News Agency quoted Ahmadi as saying.
The development plan of Bandar Abbas Oil Refinery is now 75 percent complete and is projected to come on stream in 9 months, he added.
Iran last year exported over 132,000 tons of gasoline, worth around $134 million.
According to the Customs Administration data, the gasoline exports last year increased by 127 percent in value and 108.5 percent in volume, respectively, compared to its preceding year.
Armenia, Afghanistan, the UAE, Iraq and Oman were the destinations for Iranian gasoline.
According to official government data, Iranian gasoline imports have slumped by as much as 95 percent over the last four years as rising refinery capacity and lowering fuel subsidies help neutralize Western sanctions aimed at starving Tehran of fuel.