EghtesadOnline: A petrochemical company in western Iran has turned into a leading producer and exporter of polyethylene, the most produced plastic in the world.
Kurdistan Petrochemical Company has managed to export over 155,000 tons of polyethylene, worth $192.6 million, in the eight months between March 21 and Nov. 21, NIPNA, the NPC’s official news agency, reported on Saturday.
Plans call for the production of 240,000 tons of petrochemicals in the complex by March 2018. KPC has supplied nearly 20,000 tons of products to foreign customers in the last month alone. The feat is notable, particularly because KPC is not part of the petrochemical companies straddling the southern regions that account for the bulk of Iran's petrochemical output.
Fereidoun Khaledzadeh, KPC’s managing director, has earlier said the complex started production in early March as it received feedstock from a 1,200-kilometer pipeline—known as the West Ethylene Pipeline—that runs from Asalouyeh in the south all the way to West Azarbaijan Province in the northwest, according to Financial Tribune.
The complex was officially inaugurated by President Hassan Rouhani in late March. An investment of €275 million (about $326 million) was made to build the company.
According to Khaledzadeh, KPC boasts highest standards of health, safety and environment, and it targets creating 30 hectares of green space. Referring to the company’s nominal production capacity, which stands at 300,000 tons of petrochemicals per year, the official added that KPC plans to export 70% of its output and sell the rest to local customers, but the proportion can change depending on the domestic market’s demand.
Iran's petrochemical producers are largely concentrated in two coastal regions in the Persian Gulf: Asalouyeh in Bushehr Province—home to Iran's gas and petrochemical facilities—and the city of Mahshahr in Khuzestan Province.
For decades, Iran has expanded its map of petrochemical plants as part of measures to boost local economies. But some experts have opposed countrywide expansions, contending that there is not enough water to feed water-intensive petrochemical plants amid critical water shortages and a persistent drought. Distance is another downside to building petrochemical complexes far from the Persian Gulf coast. KPC is located about 600 kilometers from the Persian Gulf that enjoys fast and easy access to international waters while transfer of petrochemicals means additional costs for the company.
Iran produced 35.6 million tons of petrochemicals between March 21 and Nov. 21.