EghtesadOnline: Shimibaft Petrochemical Plant in the southern city of Mahshahr, Khuzestan Province, has increased output and reported 7% growth in the first quarter of the current calendar year (began March) compared to the same period last year, managing director of the company said.
The rise in the output has led higher sales and as a result “the company’s profit increased by 234% in the first three months of this year compared to the first quarter last year,” the Oil Ministry news agency Shana quoted Mohsen Shams as saying.
Despite the new US sanctions, last year the company generated $18 million from exports, he said.
The US reimposed economic sanctions on Iran last August, mainly targeting the key industrial sectors. In the May of that year President Donald Trump tore up the landmark 2015 nuclear deal Iran had signed with the six world powers and has since called for a new and comprehensive agreement with Tehran, according to Financial Tribune.
In November Washington imposed a second round of sanctions, targeting the key energy sector.
Referring to the pattern of growth in Shimibaft exports, Shams said: “the company exported 10,000 tons of petrochemicals worth $6 million in the first quarter of this year. We expect $25 million in export revenues by the end of the year (March 2020).”
He noted that his company has made the country self-reliant in butanone, also known as methyl ethyl ketone (MEK).
“There is no need to import MEK thanks to production at Shimitex Aria Petrochemical Company, a subsidiary of Shimibaft. It is the sole producer of MEK in the Middle East,” Shimibaft was quoted as saying by Shana.
MEK is a liquid solvent used in surface coatings, adhesives, printing inks, chemical intermediates and magnetic tapes. It is also used as an extraction medium for fats, oils, wax and resins.
Fanavaran Petrochemical Company in Khuzestan has plans for producing over 975,000 tons of methanol and more than 120,000 tons of citric acid in the current year, the managing director said.
“The complex has three units of methanol, citric acid and carbon monoxide, and 80% of its output is exported,” Mohammad Javad Badri noted.
Last year, the company reported 9% growth from the preceding year, the volume of exports rose 18% and value increased by 118%.
Badri added that the decent growth levels in the key petrochemical industry can and should help reduce Iran’s vulnerability to American hostility and restrictions.
Iran is striving to diversify its oil-based economy and make better use of its hydrocarbon reserves by producing petrochemicals and goods with higher value-added that can compete in the extremely tight international markets.
Jam Olefin Unit
With the completion of a development plan for modernizing one of the olefin unit furnaces in Jam Petrochemical Company in Asalouyeh, Bushehr Province, the unit’s capacity has increased by 15%, the project manager said.
The project was designed to augment ethylene output as a key feedstock in the petrochemical industry, Hassan Moeini added.
Before implementation of the project, production from each furnace was about 40 tons per hour. With the renovation output has reached 46 tons per hour.
Iranian engineers and technicians are drawing on modern methods to improve the productivity of petrochemical plants.
It is estimated that exporting the extra ethylene can generate $10 million.
Almost 80% of JPC products are exported to 20 countries. China is the main destination. Turkey, Pakistan, as well as European and South American countries are the other destinations.