Iran’s Petrochemical Industry: Foreign Investors on the Way
Once again, Mehdi Sepehrvand, a specialty journalist in the fields of the Iran’s petrochemical industry and economy, joined to the PIMI Portal’s “Editorial Team” after reduction of his round the clock professional pressures over the specialty journalists. His first editorial might be interesting for those who remember the launching of PIMI Portal in early days of 2016. His analytical articles would be categorized under the paid subscribers’ policy of PIMI Portal from Sept. 1st, 2017.
The petrochemical industry is one of the most active ones in Iran, not only in terms of production, but also in terms of luring foreign investment.
Foreign investment in Iran found a new momentum after the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, aka Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The deal created fresh hopes with Iranians and foreign partners for future cooperation. Now the petrochemical industry seems to be a promising sector in this regard.
According to Hossein Alimorad, director of investment at the National Petrochemical Company, in the near future Iran is expected to see $5 billion foreign investment in the petrochemical industry.
Talks in this regard have been finalized, he said on Sunday, adding that there are three European companies now considering investment in Iran’s petrochemical projects.
Alimorad also mentioned that after the implementation of the JCPOA (January 2016), Iran has signed worth $10 billion foreign investment agreement in the petrochemical sector with European as well as Asian companies.
He underlined that talks with the European to-be partners have been pursued on a good and serious note over recent weeks, adding that contracts are about to be “materialized”.
On July 23, Iranian news outlets said Iran was preparing to sign contracts with France’s Total and Royal Dutch Shell on petrochemical projects.
Quoting Marzieh Shahdaei, head of the National Petrochemical Company, IRNA said the sides were negotiating the final issues to sign contracts.
Both Total and Shell have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Iran on Petrochemical sphere in 2016.
According to the NPC chief, the value of the contract with Total will be $2 billion. The value of Shell’s MoU with Iran is estimated at $6 billion, she noted.
Iran has projected to double its petrochemical production capacity to 120 million tons per year by 2021. Nominal petrochemical output capacity exceeded 60 million tons in the fiscal 2016-17 (ended March 20, 2017) and is slated to reach 72 million tons by March next year.
Eying a significant boost under these circumstances, Iran’s Petrochemical Commercial Company in early July opened an office in London to ease operations pertaining to attracting foreign finance and opening lines of credit.
“Our priority is to open new credit lines for investment funds to raise funding for petrochemical projects inside Iran,” Mehdi Sharifi-Niknafs, chief executive officer of PCC, was quoted as saying by NIPNA, the official news agency of National Petrochemical Company.
He added that a team of experts from the PCC opened talks with European banks and investors to fast-track the funding of Iranian development projects.
By Mehdi Sepahvand – PIMI, Tehran