Iran and integrated petchem-refinery complexes

Business Materials 4 July 2016 20:51 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 4

By Emil Ilgar – Trend:

Iran, with daily production of 735 million cubic meters of raw gas, 512,000 barrels of gas condensate and 3.7 million barrels of crude oil, holds a very small share in the global oil and petrochemical products output.

The country produced 46 million tons of petrochemicals the last fiscal year that ended March 20, while some 1.65 million barrels of crude oil was refined a day.

Iran holds less than 2 percent share in both global petrochemical production and refining capacity.

However, the country plans to invest $32 billion and $44 billion to construct oil and gas refineries, respectively, while about $35 billion will be allocated to build new petrochemical plants by 2025.

While the number of integrated complexes, which combine oil & gas refineries and petrochemical plants, is growing, Iran prefers to build the refineries and plants separately.

The advantage of integrated petchem-refinery complexes is that they decrease the capital and operational expenditures.

Nade Javidpour, an expert on petrochemical industry, told Trend July 4 that if all the integrated complexes of the world become operational, they would manufacture 30 percent of the world’s basic petrochemical products made from liquid feedstock.

Pooya Nematollahi, expert on downstream oil industry, told Trend that making investments in integrated complexes will have two advantages.

Firstly, the integrated complexes reduce costs of holding company through decreasing the need in loading, transportation, cooling and storage.

He added that on the other hand, the integrated complexes reduce the costs for inputs, refining and transportation equipment.

“For instance, some of the feedstock needed for refineries is hydrogen or high octane gasoline, produced in petrochemical plants. Or, the gas output of fluid catalyst cracking unit of a refinery is used as feedstock for producing ethylene in petrochemical units,” said Nematollahi.

Coming to the new projects of Iran in downstream sector, Nematollahi said that no specific plan has been made in this regard.