By Mahnaz Abdi

Diversification, marketing on post-sanctions agenda: NPC official

April 2, 2017

TEHRAN- Given the positive environment created after the lifting of sanctions against Iran, National Petrochemical Company (NPC) has put product diversification and market expansion on its agenda, Farnaz Alavi, the NPC director for planning and development told the Tehran Times in an e-mailed interview.

“These two objectives are some of the key policies of NPC in post-sanctions time. In this regard, petrochemical companies are seeking to export their diversified products to new target countries in a way that simultaneous with reviving their lost markets, they can find new markets,” the official stated.

“To this end, the process of negotiating with the foreign companies has been expedited through dispatching trade delegations to other countries and participating in the regional exhibitions. At the same time, petrochemical companies are conducting new marketing plans for an active presence in the international level,” she added.

Countries in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East are the major markets of Iran’s petrochemical products at the moment and NPC has put export of the products to Western Europe, South America and Australia on its agenda, the director announced. 

 ‘Europe’s demand for Iran’s petrochemicals on the rise’

About 25 percent of the country’s petrochemical export was to Europe before the sanctions, while the figure fell to about five percent during the sanction time, Alavi said adding that requests from European companies for Iranian petrochemicals is on the rise after the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, which lifted sanctions against Iran in January 2016.

As the second producer of petrochemicals in the Middle East, Iran accounts for producing over 25 percent of these products in the region and considering the production projects which are planned to come on stream, the country’s share in the international markets will increase, the NPC director asserted and commented that through adopting a comprehensive strategy Iran can add many new European and African countries to the list of its traditional markets which are mainly in Asia.

It’s clear that for a more strong presence in the global markets, domestic petrochemical companies should promote the quality of their products more and more, she noted.

 ‘Fruitful negotiations with foreign companies after JCPOA’

Considering the appropriate condition created after JCPOA and also in line with the NPC’s development objectives some fruitful negotiations have been conducted with different European and Asian companies which has led to prominent cooperation, Alavi highlighted.

She mentioned the foreign companies with them NPC has signed cooperation MOUs in post-sanctions era as France’s Total, Germany’s Linde and BASF, Japan’s Sojitz and Mitsubishi, South Korea’s Hyosung, Indonesia’s Indorama and Anglo-Dutch Shell.

She also said NPC has held negotiations with foreign companies to persuade them to apply diversified methods of financing in order to expedite process of financing the projects, also with foreign banks, financial institutes and credit agencies in order to acquaint them with the available financing opportunities.

 ‘60 petchem projects underway by private sector’

Asking about the unfinished petrochemical projects in the country, the NPC director said that some 60 petrochemical projects are currently underway by the private sector throughout the country.

The Sixth Development Plan of petrochemical industry is being prepared and it will be finalized by the end of spring [which corresponds to the first quarter of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-June 21)], she announced and referred to the GTPP and GTO projects to be implemented in different parts of the country as some of the projects specified in the Sixth Plan.

She also announced that the country’s annual petrochemical production and export are estimated to hit 59 million tons and 23.5 million tons in the current Iranian calendar year (which began on March 21).

She mentioned methanol, different types of polyethylene, ethylene glycol, urea, propane and butane as the main petrochemical products Iran exports and China, India, Turkey, Iraq and Central Asian countries as the major export destinations of these products at the moment.

Alavi also said that some 75 percent of the equipment required in the petrochemical industry is domestically manufactured, while Iran has the capability of manufacturing 90 percent of such equipment.

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