Financial deficit brings Iran-Venezuela petrochemical projects to a standstill

Oil&Gas Materials 24 May 2013 14:23 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, May.24/ Trend F.Karimov/

Six years after signing a contract for establishing a petrochemical plant in Iran by an Iran-Venezuela joint company, the project has yet to be implemented due to financial problems, the Mehr News Agency reported.

In 2007, the ground-breaking ceremony of a methanol production plant was held in the presence of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his late Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez in Iran's southern port of Assaluyeh.

The plant was projected to produce 1.65 million tons of methanol per year, but is at a standstill due to lack of financiers.
Iran's National Petrochemical Company (NPC) planned to hold 51 per cent of the company's stake and the Venezuelan Petrochemical Company 49 per cent.According to estimations, the project would cost $500 million to complete.

The two countries have also signed other oil contracts in the past, but none of them has yet been completed.In 2006, Iran, Venezuela and Syria formed a consortium to construct an oil refinery in Syria.

The project would cost about $1.5 billion.
In 2012, the National Iranian Oil Co. and Petroleos de Venezuela SA signed a $2 billion contract to develop the Dobokubi oil field in the Latin American nation.

Earlier this month, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi downplayed the West's sanctions against Iran's petrochemical industry saying there is no obstacle to investment in this field.
He invited all foreign and domestic investors to invest in Iran's petrochemical industry.

"We will guarantee the profitability of investment in the petrochemical industry for domestic and foreign investors," the Iranian oil minister pointed out.

Iranian petrochemical industries are grappling with many problems such as the EU and the U.S. sanctions, as well as the non-participation of foreign companies in related projects.
However Iranian officials recently announced that over 50 per cent of the parts and equipment are manufactured domestically and the country has reached self-sufficiency in some cases.

Despite internal and external sanctions, some 15 million tons of petrochemical and polymer products worth $11 billion were exported to over 60 countries last year, Mehr news agency reported.