Iran’s petrochemical industry reviving

Business Materials 19 April 2017 10:37 (UTC +04:00)
Iranian petrochemical plants produced 50.61 million metric tons (mn mt) of petrochemical products during last fiscal year that ended March 20.
Iran’s petrochemical industry reviving

Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 19

By Dalga Khatinoglu – Trend:

Iranian petrochemical plants produced 50.61 million metric tons (mn mt) of petrochemical products during last fiscal year that ended March 20.

According to an official document prepared by the National Petrochemical Company (NPC) and seen by Trend Apr. 18, Iran’s actual petrochemical production level was 82 percent of the total nominal capacity. In other words, the country’s plants worked at 82 percent capacity during last fiscal year. Statistics in the document indicate that 96 percent of the planned production was realized.

About 17 of Iran’s total 52 petrochemical plants worked at above 100 percent projected production level, including Nouri, Urmia, Tabriz, Qaed Basir, Mehr, Bisstoon, Carbon Iran and Shiraz, which worked at up to 110 percent projected output level.

Iran’s petrochemical sector is one the country’s rapidly growing industrial sectors, which experienced a 7 percent growth in nominal capacity during last fiscal year.

Iran’s actual production level during the previous year also was 46.41 mn mt. Therefore, the country’s actual petrochemical output level experienced a 9 percent growth year-on-year.

Net final production, sales

A part of Iran’s petrochemical products (8.5 mn mt) is used as feedstock for petrochemical plants.

The country’s net sales of petrochemical products, that is, excluding sales to domestic plants as feedstock, were 27.584 mn mt, including 20.39 mn mt of exports during last fiscal year.

Thus, Iran added about 14.5 mn mt to its petrochemical stockpile during last fiscal year, which indicates to the country’s difficulties in selling all of its surplus petrochemical products in international markets.

Source: NPC, Iran’s petrochemicals export from March 2006 to March 2017

The official statistics indicate that export volume of Iran’s petrochemical products decreased dramatically since the fiscal year to March 2012, but the figure has resumed due to removal of petrochemical-related sanctions on Iran.

Iran’s petrochemicals export was 18.2 mn mt in the fiscal year to March 2012, when the US and the EU imposed sanctions on Iran to curb its ambitious nuclear activities.

The petrochemical-related sanctions were removed in 2014, two years before full removal of nuclear sanctions. However, some of US unilateral sanctions on Iran still remain, including the ban on dealing with Iran through US dollar.

Despite the growing export in the past three years, the revenues have been flat due to falling oil price since mid-2014.

Domestically, Iran sold net 7.2 mn mt of final petrochemical products, worth $5.283 billion, during last fiscal year.

New projects

Iran plans to inaugurate seven petrochemical plants the current year and 23 more in the next year.

In total, 64 petrochemical projects are expected to become operational in Iran by 2021 to double the country’s nominal production capacity in the next five years.

Iran needs $20 billion of investment to reach the targeted plan and further $35 billion of investment is needed to increase the figure to 150 mn mt/yr by 2025.


Dalga Khatinoglu is the head of Trend Agency’s Iran news service, follow him on Twitter: @dalgakhatinoglu