EghtesadOnline: Three petrochemical projects became operational in the past week and will help complete the value chain of the key industry as the country gradually moves away from an oil economy to exporting value-added products.
A potassium sulfate unit of Urmia Petrochemical Plant in West Azerbaijan Province was launched Saturday, the Oil Ministry news website Shana reported.
“With annual capacity of 40,000 tons, the unit will produce hydrochloric acid as a by-product with a capacity of 50,000 tons a year,” the managing director Karim Deljavan said.
Hydrochloric acid used by industries to process steel, the material of choice for suspension bridges and used in the production of cars and heavy vehicles. Hydrochloric acid is also used in the production of batteries and photoflash bulbs.
Urmia petrochemical company is located 30 kilometers southwest of the provincial capital Urmia City. It already has three units for producing sulfuric acid, crystal melamine and ammonia sulphate.
The third phase of Lordegan Petrochemical Plant in Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari Province opened with a daily production capacity of 3,250 tons.
"With the launch of the third phase, annual production of the complex, as the largest producer of urea in western Iran, has reached 1.073 million tons,” Mohsen Mahmoudi, the managing director, said.
The project was launched in its entirety by local engineers and created 700 direct and 2,000 plus indirect jobs.
More than 90% of world industrial production of urea is destined for use as a nitrogen-release fertilizer. It is also used as raw material in other industries.
Iran is self-sufficient in production of urea and there is no need for import. The country annually produces about 6 million tons of urea fertilizer.
Urea production in Iran is projected to reach 14.7 million tons per year by the end of the Sixth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2017-22).
MTP Unit in Mahshahr
A semi-industrial unit for production of propylene from methanol was launched at the Research and Technology Center of Mahshahr, Khuzestan Province.
“Parallel to the methanol to propylene unit, the technical knowledge to produce catalysts required for the unit has been acquired domestically,” managing director of the National Petrochemical Company Behzad Mohammadi said.
Propylene is a colorless fuel gas with a naturally pungent smell. It is a strategic commodity in the petrochemical industries. It can be transformed into value added products like polypropylene and create jobs in the downstream petrochemical sector.
The current propylene output is about 980,000 tons per year. However, demand for this product in the country is much more and plans are underway to increase output. Comprehensive plan calls for increasing propylene production in Iran in the near future.
Regarding NPC plans to increase polypropylene production, Mohammadi stated: "With the opening of other plants in Asalouyeh (in south), Amirabad complex (in north) and Islamabad Gharb plant (in west), output of this crucial product will increase to four million tons per year."