EghtesadOnline: Petrochemical export revenue in the last fiscal year that ended in March stood at $11 billion.
Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh made the statement on Sunday in the parliament while addressing lawmakers’ questions and concerns over petrochemical-related issues, the Persian-language economic newspaper Donya-e-Eqtesad, the sister publication of Financial Tribune, quoted him as saying.
"Of the total earnings, $9 billion were returned to the treasury and the rest was invested in developing the key sector," he said.
Despite new US sanctions, petrochemical exports continue as planned (especially with private sector help), he told the legislators, according to Financial Tribune.
The US Treasury Department announced new sanctions on Iran's petrochemical sector in June against the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company and 39 of its 60 subsidiaries and foreign sales agents. Nonetheless, officials [including Zanganeh] say there are enough buyers worldwide for Iran’s products.
"Petrochemical buyers are not governments or states. They are private enterprises," he said, adding that for example, when methanol is shipped to India, there is an array of buyers who cannot be easily detected or provoked by hostile states or their minions.
Unlike the oil Industry, the petrochemical sector cannot be easily constrained or blockaded. Diversity of petrochemical products plus the near permanent global demand help the industry evade sanctions, he was quoted as saying.
NPC's annual production at 65 million tons is projected to reach 100 million tons in 2020, he noted, adding that implementing policies to complete the petrochem value-added chain helped boost output from 40.6 million tons in 2013 to 54 million tons in 2017.
According to NPC data, the country’s 57 petrochemical complexes produced over 13.2 million tons between March 21 and June 21. Base petrochemicals accounted for 42% (5.4m tons) of the total current output. Petrochemical feedstock, polymers, fertilizers and aromatics constituted 26% (3.4m tons), 12 % (1.7m tons), 12% (1.6m tons) and 8% (1.1m tons) of the production range.
Bulk of the petrochemical infrastructure is in the southern regions near the Persian Gulf in the city of Mahshahr in Khuzestan Province where water supply is less of a concern and proximity to the international waterway makes transport more feasible and cost-effective.
There are 16 companies in Pars Special Economic Energy Zone in Asalouyeh as well as other plants in Khorasan, Kermanshah, Lorestan, Mahabad and Kurdistan.
Zanganeh was quoted as saying that his ministry is in charge of producing petrochemicals and the job of selling is not the function of the Oil Ministry.
The petrochemical sector is the second-most important industry in Iran after oil and gas. Improvement and optimization of petrochemical plants is underway to boost productivity, reduce costs and expand margins.