EghtesadOnline: The National Petrochemical Company sees an opportunity in shaking up the economy of underdeveloped regions by promoting investments in petrochemical plants there.
Marzieh Shahdaei, managing director of state-owned NPC, urged foreign investors on Monday to embark on petrochemical ventures in Iran, especially in the country's impoverished regions in the south, ILNA reported.
On concerns over a shortage of water supply as an important element in running petrochemical units in underdeveloped areas that may be a barrier to investment, she said, “Many impoverished regions, such as cities along the Sea of Oman like Chabahar and Jask, do not face water scarcity."
The official, who is also a deputy oil minister, added that proper conditions should be provided for constructing petrochemical units in deprived areas, according to Financial Tribune.
Shahdaei noted that the port city of Asalouyeh in Bushehr Province is a region with previously dismal economic outlook that is now home to the largest petrochemical facilities in Iran, adding that Asalouyeh can be a development model for other energy and petrochemical projects.
Experts say investing in the downstream petrochemical sector will yield a reasonable return, calling for expanding the industry in underdeveloped regions and conducting feasibility studies to establish supplementary industries with the aim of creating jobs and promoting economic prosperity.
Shahdaei added that NPC intends to link up domestic companies with international partners in petrochemical ventures, stressing that the linkup will ease the attraction of foreign finance and improve investment security in Iran.
Underscoring Iran's plans to expand its petrochemical sector with the help of foreign finance, Shahdaei said that based on the Sixth Five-Year Development Plan (2017-22), NPC should absorb $50 billion in investment.
Iran is in dire need of hefty investments in its aging oil and gas production facilities to uplift its ailing economy on the back of years of sanctions and underinvestment.
The country hopes to double its petrochemical output capacity to 120 million tons or more within five years.