Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 2
By Fatih Karimov- Trend:
For the first time in the past five years Iran received money for petrochemical export via a European bank, Mehdi Sharifi Niknafs, executive director of the Iranian Petrochemical Commercial Company said.
However, petrochemical-related sanctions have been removed already after reaching an interim nuclear deal in November 2013 but Iran's petrochemical exports was facing problems due to banking system sanctions.
Sharifi Niknafs said that after a long and time-consuming procedure, the company received the money for petrochemical exports in its bank account in Spain, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported Jan. 2.
It became possible after the Iranian Petrochemical Commercial Company opened an account in a Spanish bank last July and signed an Escrow Account Agreement with the bank, he said.
The official further said that payment restriction for exported petrochemical goods to various countries is fully removed thanks to the agreement and the official authorizations issued by the government and the central bank of Spain.
Iran's petrochemical output hit 44.4 million tons in the past Iranian fiscal year (ended on March 20, 2015), 10 percent more year-on-year.
The country's actual production capacity is around 60 million tons, but the shortage of natural gas as feedstock, old production units, and the problem of sanctions, which has dropped exports, have caused petrochemical complexes to work at lower capacities.
Iranian petrochemical plants use 37 million cubic meters of natural gas per day, while Iran could deliver only 2.8 million tons of ethane to plants during last year. The country planned to increase this volume to 4.2 million tons this year.
The Islamic Republic hopes to realize an output of 120 million tons of petrochemicals by 2020 and 180 million tons by 2025.