EghtesadOnline: The construction operation of the mega petrochemical project in the city of Masjed Soleyman in southern Khuzestan Province is in a good stage of development, the CEO of Masjed Soleyman Petrochemical Industries Company said.
"The project's Phase 1 has registered 80.11% progress and is projected to come on stream by the end of the current fiscal year [March 2019]," Yousef Davoudi was also quoted as saying by NIPNA on Monday.
"The completion of the complex's utility facilities and installation of pipelines are also high on the agenda of the current year," he added.
Davoudi noted that the project will help boost the petrochemicals' share of value-added exports, according to Financial Tribune.
"The goal is to support the downstream petrochemical sector, develop the upstream sector and expand the growth of supplementary industries," he added.
The petrochemical plant will produce resin phenol, polyule and acrylic acid for the first time in Iran and provide the feedstock for downstream industries in Ilam Province's industrial hubs and raw materials for other production units across the country.
Davoudi noted that "once the plant goes on stream, it will create over 1,500 direct job opportunities".
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Davoudi underlined that Masjed Soleyman is an attractive place for investment in petrochemicals due to its easy access to feedstock.
The first oil exploration in Iran and the Middle East was carried out in Masjed Soleyman more than a century ago. The exploration substantially changed the economic dynamics of the region and turned the city into a major area of interest for western companies and countries that sought a share in Iran's oil industry.
The complex will incorporate the latest cutting-edge technology of Germany, France, Britain and Denmark.
Based on a report by National Petrochemical Company, two European companies undertook the designing and licensing of the complex, with the Chinese contractor having implemented 64 urea/ammonia units.
The complex will have the capacity to turn 30 million cubic meters of gas into intermediate and final petrochemical products.
The products of the complex will be used in the manufacture of nylon, detergents, colors, gasoline additives, glue, etc.
It is expected to help end the import of raw materials by petrochemical and polymer industries.
Davoudi said the move is in line with the government's drive to boost the petrochemical sector, which is Iran's most important industry after oil and gas.
The country's nominal output capacity stands at 62 million tons of petrochemicals per year, while actual production is expected to reach about 60 million tons by March 2018.
The National Petrochemical Company hopes to lift nominal output capacity to more than 120 million tons per annum by 2022, the last year of Iran's Sixth Five-Year Development Plan.
According to experts, preparing the ground to achieve such a goal requires the attraction pf $77 billion of finance by 2020.
According to Marzieh Shahdaie, NPC's former managing director, Iran has developed 30 new petrochemical projects in the post-sanctions period, which have been completed or are still underway.