EghtesadOnline: Kimia Pars Middle East Petrochemical Complex in Asalouyeh, which started production at the end of spring, is trying to increase output for the export market, the managing director said.
“Total capacity of the complex is 1.65 million tons per year. But due to the lack of oxygen feedstock, we are now working at 70% capacity,” Abbas Dolatizadeh was quoted as saying by the National Petrochemical Company’s news website Nipna.
The plan is boost daily production to 5,000 tons and as total output is for export the target is to earn $1 million a day, he added.
“We exported our first cargo in June, and the next shipment will be exported soon,” he noted.
Natural gas and oxygen are used as feedstock in the plant to produce methanol, a primary liquid petrochemical.
With sustainable production, the company is expected to increase the methanol output.
Located in Pars Special Economic Energy Zone in Asalouyeh, Bushehr Province, Kimia Pars Middle East Petrochemical Complex came online earlier this year.
To produce 1.65 million tons of methanol a year, the plant needs 1.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas and 744 million cubic meters of oxygen.
Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol amongst other names, is a light, volatile, colorless, flammable liquid with a distinctive alcoholic odor similar to that of ethanol.
NPC data shows Iran accounts for 8% of the world's total methanol production with exports mainly to Iraq, China, the UAE, India and South Korea.
In 2017, Iran’s methanol export to international markets earned over $1 billion (one dollar then was worth 35,000 rials).
China, which has major methanol-to-olefins capacity, is a natural target market for Iran. Its top five importers account for 60% of Iranian methanol.
With the recently launched petrochemical complexes, including Marjan, Kharg, Fanavaran, Kaveh and Zagros, Iran now produces over 8.3 million tons of methanol a year, of which only 300,000 tons is for domestic use and the rest is exported.
Even China with annual methanol output of 60 million tons imports 10 million tons a year, which shows the potential of the market.
Methanol produced in China mostly comes from coal and pollutes the environment. In Iran methanol is produced from natural gas that is more eco-friendly.
In the petrochemical industry methanol is used to create high-quality basic chemicals, the most important of which are formaldehyde, acetic acid, MTBE, methyl methacrylate, methyl chloride and methylamines processed to produce other derivatives.