Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the Islamic Republic aims to reach the point where it would no longer need to export its crude oil, IRNA reports.
"We (Iran) plan to get to the point where we would not need to export crude oil anymore. The number of our oil refineries should double in such a case, and it would be of great benefit to our country," Ahmadinejad said on Thursday.
The Iranian president was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the country's biggest gasoline plant at Shazand Imam Khomeini Refinery in the central Markazi Province. He said the project was proof that Iran has achieved self-sufficiency in oil refinery construction and does not need foreign assistance in this regard.
Ahmadinejad further called on the Iranian oil industry officials to make their utmost efforts to design and build fully indigenous refineries and even export their expertise.
He also criticized the West's illegal unilateral sanctions on Iran's energy sector, saying that the bans show the bullying nature of the countries which have adopted them.
The Iranian president stated that refining Iranian crude oil in domestic refineries will generate three to four times more revenue for Tehran than the sale of crude oil, adding that the production of petrochemicals inside the country will also yield five to ten times more earnings than oil exports.
Shazand Imam Khomeini Refinery contains the country's biggest gasoline production hub with a production capacity of 16 million liters (ml) of gasoline per day.
Production of premium gasoline will increase from the current amount of 1.2 million liters to 3.2 million liters with the opening of the facility.
Following the gasoline plant's inauguration, its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) production will increase from 500 tons per day to 2,000 tons.
The treatment facility produces gasoline, liquefied gas, propylene, kerosene, gas oil as well as fuel oil and tar.