EghtesadOnline: Fifty research projects are underway at subsidiaries of the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company, director of planning and development said Wednesday.
Mojtaba Taheri was speaking in Tehran at the unveiling ceremony of a new grade of isocyanate chain manufactured by Karoun Petrochemical Company, a subsidiary of PGPIC.
“Currently, more than 50 research projects are underway in various fields including production of new and higher value-added products, optimizing quality and energy consumption, and upgrading and indigenizing catalysts,” the Oil Ministry news agency Shana quoted him as saying.
PGPIC draws on its full capacity in knowledge-based companies, start-ups, universities and training centers, the Petroleum Industry Research Institute and the Petrochemical Research and Technology Company to advance development projects, Taheri added.
The new product, KLM100B (L), is produced for the first time in the Middle East to meet the needs of producers in the mid- and downstream industries to complete polyurethane production value chain.
Karoun Petrochemical Complex, in the southwestern port city of Mahshahr in Khuzestan Province, has an annual production capacity of 5,400 tons of this organic compound, which puts an end to its import. Last year, Iran imported 5,000 tons of the compound.
Globally about 8 million tons of isocyanates are produced annually. Only nine companies in the world produce it and Karoun is one.
Isocyanates are a family of highly reactive, low molecular weight chemicals widely used in the manufacture of polyurethane foams, insulation, household refrigerators and board or laminate form, residential sheathing or commercial roofing, floor finishes, wood finishes and paint, adhesive and sealant compounds, automobile parts, shoe soles, roller skate wheels, pond liners and blood bags.
PGPIC projects continue despite the tough US sanctions. In May 2018, the United States under Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and six world powers and later imposed tough economic sanctions.
The US Treasury Department announced in June new restrictions on Iran's petrochemical sector that applied to PGPIC and 39 of its subsidiaries and foreign agents.
Hostile US moves slowed down PGPIC projects but did not dislodge it because domestic companies and manufacturers were soon to pick up the slack supplying most equipment and parts.
As Iran’s largest petrochemical company, PGPIC accounts for 37% of total national production, which is 70 million tons per year. It also owns more than 11% of the domestic capital market.
As one of the lucrative companies in Iran, it is ranked third among the regional companies in terms of size and profit making.
A large variety of petrochemicals (350 types) are produced in Iran, for which there is high international demand. They are exported to 30 Asian, European and South American companies.
According to plans, annual petrochemical production capacity will cross 100 million tons next year and reach 130 million tons over four years later.
The petrochemical sector is expected to generate $25 billion by 2022, and $37 billion by 2025, compared to the present $17 billion.