South Africa to dispatch energy experts to Iran

Business Materials 1 September 2015 12:40 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 1

By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

A group of South African experts are to visit Tehran soon to discuss ways to establish GTL (gas to liquid) units in Iran.

South Africa is interested to cooperate with Iran in the petrochemical industry, Abbas Sheri Moghaddam, the Islamic Republic's deputy oil minister said, the oil ministry's official SHANA news agency reported.

He made the remarks on the sidelines of a meeting with the visiting South Africa 's deputy energy minister Thembisile Majola on August 31.

Sheri Moghaddam further said that Tehran and Pretoria are negotiating for construction of two GTL units in Iran.

Meanwhile Majola said that South Africa is interested in establishing GTL units in Iran and to this end a group of South African experts will visit Tehran in September for further discussions.

He added that Pretoria needs petrochemical products and liquid gas and Iran can be one of the main sources of supply.

South Africa also wants to diversify its energy resources and in line with this purpose we are interested to import LNG from Iran, the South African official said earlier.

Producing GTL requires an advanced technology to convert natural gas or other gaseous hydrocarbons into longer-chain hydrocarbons such as gasoline or diesel fuel. The technology for producing LNG is easier and it involves cooling natural gas into liquid for easier transportation.

South Africa's energy giant Sasol was previously involved in discussions with Iran over the development of the country's first GTL project.

Early in May the South African Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson also visited Tehran and held talks with her Islamic Republic's oil officials.

She said that the country wants to establish a cooperation framework with Tehran in oil, LNG, LPG, gas and petrochemical sector.

South Africa was one of Iran 's traditional oil markets before the sanctions were imposed on the Islamic Republic due to its disputed nuclear program.

Last month before the sanctions cut down Iran 's crude oil exports (June 2012), South Africa was buying averagely 68,000 barrels of oil from Tehran per day.