EghtesadOnline: Close to 100 million liters of gasoline has been produced in the Persian Gulf Star Refinery in the city of Bandar Abbas, Hormozgan Province, since its launch in the beginning of last month, said Abbas Kazemi, managing director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC).
"The newly inaugurated refinery, which is the largest gasoline producing plant in the country, is up and running and its production has not halted," Abbas Kazemi was quoted as saying by IRNA on Wednesday.
Media outlets aligned to political opponents of President Hassan Rouhani recently alleged that the Star refinery's gasoline output is "next to nothing" ever since its first production phase was inaugurated.
PGSR is designed to produce 12 million liters per day of Euro-4 grade gasoline, 4.5 ml/d of Euro-4 diesel, 1 ml/d of kerosene and 300,000 liters per day of liquefied petroleum gas in the first development phase, Financial Tribune reported.
Data show the refinery is producing gasoline, albeit below capacity.
Pointing to the production of 100 million liters gasoline in less than two months, Kazemi noted, "Of the total amount, 21 million liters has been sent to oil storage tanks in the port city of Bandar Abbas."
The refinery's output level is rising progressively and its isomerization unit will go on stream next week.
Refuting claims about disruptions in the PGSR gasoline production, Kazemi said, “Those who claim that all the processing units of a refinery should operate simultaneously have poor knowledge about how a refinery works. In the Star refinery, the launch of one plant, such as the isomerization unit, requires functioning of other facilities."
Asked about domestic gasoline production, Kazemi said, “Around 62 million liters of gasoline is produced in our refineries daily and 2 ml/d of methyl tert-butyl ether is added to the output to raise its octane number.” Higher octane levels indicate better quality in fuels.
He noted that average consumption has been 78 million liters per day since March 21 (the beginning of the current fiscal), of which 10 ml/d is imported.
According to Kazemi, Iranians burned 74 million liters of gasoline daily in the previous fiscal. “The higher figure is due to the economic upturn after the lifting of international sanctions last year as well as the production of 1.3 million vehicles in fiscal 2015-16.”
“Following the launch of the Star refinery, we now have no issues in producing regular and high-octane gasoline. Almost 80 million liters of regular gasoline is in our inventories,” Kazemi said, noting that total gasoline in storage tanks amounts to 200 million liters.
Almost 120 million liters of premium gasoline, sold as ‘super’, has also been stored. Premium gasoline is sold in major cities such as Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Tabriz and Mashhad. Kazemi said gasoline storage may fluctuate on a weekly or daily basis. “Sometimes storage is up, at times it is down. There is no cause for concern.”