EghtesadOnline: The Petrochemical Research and Technology Company of Iran plans to collaborate with 12 international firms in scientific fields, the state-run company’s managing director said on Saturday.
“The cooperation with foreign companies revolves around the sale and purchase of know-how as well as other scientific fields,” Esmaeil Qanbari was also quoted as saying by Shana, the Oil Ministry’s news agency.
On PRTC’s plans for the next fiscal year (starting March 21), Qanbari said the company will focus on three areas: industrial joint ventures, industrial activities in the sections of process, catalysts and chemicals on demand, as well as providing research services and indigenizing state-of-the-art technologies.
Referring to PRTC's recent deal with Shazand Petrochemical Company in Markazi Province on commercializing SAC500 Catalyst, the official said a similar contract is slated to be sealed with the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company soon, Financial Tribune reported.
Qanbari noted that about 30% of his company’s ventures in the next fiscal year account for industry-oriented projects.
PRTC signed a memorandum of understanding in August with France's Air Liquide Engineering and Construction Company on transferring state-of-the-art technology to convert methanol to propylene.
Pointing to PRTC's new model of interacting with international firms, Qanbari said long-term collaboration with foreign enterprises will depend on their willingness to help Iran indigenize cutting-edge technologies transferred to the country.
--- Downstream Plans
Iran has invested a massive $60 billion in the petrochemical industry’s upstream sector, which created about 60,000 jobs, meaning that an investment of $1 million could help employ one person, the National Petrochemical Company’s managing director said.
“This is while in the downstream sector of the industry, we can create one job by investing 100 million rials [about $2,700],” Seyyed Reza Norouz-Zadeh was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency on Saturday.
According to the official, the country’s annual petrochemical exports reached $20 billion, which were mostly made in the upstream sector.
“Iran’s profit for each kilogram of petrochemical export amounts to only $1, but the country imports downstream products at $4 per kilogram,” he said.
Norouz-Zadeh noted that the Oil Ministry expects NPC to attract $30 billion in investment, which mostly account for upstream plans such as converting natural gas to olefins.
Pointing to the fact that many petrochemical units are grappling with financial problems, the official stressed that the main reason behind it is that they only target the domestic market and are not prepared to compete with international rivals.
Nominal petrochemical production reached 62 million tons in the previous fiscal year. Tehran hopes to more than double output in five years by attracting $70 billion in investment.