Iranian petrochemical industry to depend on Europe

Iranian petrochemical industry to depend on Europe

Dalga Khatinoglu, head of the Persian news service/

Iranian oil minister Rostam Qasemi banned purchase of oil-processing technologies from 5 European companies. Three of them are from the UK (UOP, SW и Start Company), one from France (Axens) and the last - joint Dutch-British company (Royal Dutch Shell).

Despite the fact that these companies issued licenses to Iran they nevertheless refused to implement the third phase of the oil refinery in Abadan - plan of development of gasoline production (Cat Cracker Unit).

Iran said earlier that some productions of the oil refineries in Tehran and Shazand obtained licenses of above mentioned European companies and without their participation were commissioned by local companies.

At present there are nine oil refineries in Iran which obtained licenses from the European companies.

Production volume of oil-processing sector of Iran amounts to 42.952 million tons. Some 35 per cent of licenses in this sector have been obtained from the companies of 35 per cent -Germany, 18 per cent - the UK, 12 per cent - France and 11 per cent - the Netherlands.

In addition to companies of the U.S. and Europe, licenses were obtained from companies of Japan - 5 percent, Saudi Arabia - 2 per cent and China - 1 percent. Thus, 85 percent of licenses in the oil-processing industry of Iran have been obtained from companies in Europe, 7 percent - from the U.S. companies.

Licenses of 5 largest oil refineries of Iran

Shazand (Arak)

RIPI (Iran), KTI (Italy), Technip (Italy), UOP (UK), Axens (France)

Tehran

TPKTI, Technip, Axens, Intertek

Bandar-Abbas

Axens, Prosernat (France)

Abadan

Axens, UOP, Topsoe (Denmark), Technip-KTI (Italy)

Esfahan

Axens, UOP, Topsoe, Technip-KTI, Linde (Germany)

Seven new refineries are currently under construction in Iran. These plants must be developed based on local technology according to the order of Mr Qasemi. The production of petrochemical products should reach 100 million tons by 2015 in accordance with the five-year plan for national development. However, according to Iranian Ministry of Industry,Mine and Trade's statistics, Fifteen per cent of licenses for new projects must be obtained from Germany, 9 percent from the Netherlands, 7 percent from France and 4 percent from the UK, Denmark, Switzerland, Japan and Indonesia. There is no decision about the obtaining licenses for 44 percent of the projects yet.

Iran says it could produce 25 percent of technology and equipment in the petrochemical field, but one question remains - how will Iran develop seven new oil refineries without a license of the Western countries?

If one takes into account the U.S. sanctions against Iran with regard to the sale of gasoline and the fact that the country consumes over 60 million litres of gasoline a day, it is not ruled out that Iran, in the absence of foreign companies, will face a problem in ensuring the long-term demand for gasoline.

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