EghtesadOnline: In line with efforts to expand ethylene production, Jam Petrochemical Company in the southern Bushehr Province is on the last leg of negotiations to finalize a deal with Germany's Linde Group and France's Technip, managing director of the company said.
"Plans have been devised to boost ethylene output by 20% and prospective agreements with Linde and Technip will help JPC expedite the process," Hassan Mirafzali was also quoted as saying by ILNA on Saturday.
Pointing to lengthy talks with the petrochemical majors, Mirafzali said, "Upon signing the agreement, JPC will be provided with the much-needed technical know-how to raise ethylene output."
According to the official, the company has already clinched a deal with China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation for the procurement of a catalyst necessary for mass production of a high-density grade of polyethylene used for producing the PE100 pipes that possess higher long-term strength and are used in oil, gas, water and wastewater pipeline networks, Financial Tribune reported.
Mirafzali added that JPC has successfully produced 10,000 tons of PE100 pipes in a pilot plan, yet a special catalyst is required to increase the output.
"Sinopec has also agreed to provide JPC with another catalyst that is required to manufacture black pipe-grade high-density polyethylene in large quantities," he said, adding that the catalyst for this type of polymer can be acquired from Asian markets instead of western countries.
The official said this type of polyethylene production will cut down the import of two of the world's most popular polymers.
Mirafzali said JPC has the capacity to manufacture 300,000 tons of both polymers per annum, as the strategic product can be sold not only in domestic but also in international markets.
Asked about JPC's rivals in producing the said polymers, the official said Saudi Arabian Oil Company, known as Saudi Aramco, has also launched the same venture.
According to the official, to complete the value chain, JPC expects to launch the first phase of its acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene plant by March next year with a total capacity of 200,000 tons annually.
Stressing the plan's priority, Mirafzali noted that the contractor, Pad Jam Polymer Development Company, is expected to fully launch the plant by next March.
ABS is a hard, heat-resistant engineering plastic widely used in housing appliances, pipe fittings and automotive interior parts.
Commenting on the number of active cracking furnaces for ethylene production, Mirafzali said, “Presently four furnaces are up and running. Nonetheless, if we get more feedstock, two more furnaces will become operational, which means a notable increase in ethylene output.”
JPC owns some of the largest petrochemical facilities in the southern port city of Asalouyeh. It is one of the world's biggest producers of wide-ranging olefins, according to the company's website.
Iran is taking concrete steps in developing its domestic pipe-manufacturing sector. The National Iranian Oil Company signed an agreement with a Spanish consortium in May to manufacture special pipelines using corrosion resistant alloys, or CRA. The $550 million deal signed by NIOC, Spain-based industrial group Tubacex and Iran's Sepahan Steel Company is aimed at manufacturing 600 kilometers of CRA pipelines in three years.
As per the terms of the agreement, Tubacex, in collaboration with Japan's JFE, will transfer the know-how to produce corrosion resistance alloys used in manufacturing oil and gas pipelines to its Iranian partner, Sepahan Steel Company.