EghtesadOnline: The Majlis Research Center in a report said Iran will need 29,000 tons of catalysts annually by 2026 worth an estimated $692 million for the petrochemical, refining and gas sectors, head of the Catalyst Technology Development Department of the Research Institute of Petroleum Industry said.
“More than 40% of the catalysts are produced by domestic companies,” the Oil Ministry news agency Shana quoted Mehdi Rashidzadeh as saying.
RIPI is a major institute in catalyst production and has facilitated the commercialization of catalysts with the help of knowledge-based companies.
Referring to the role and significance of catalysts, Rashidzadeh said, “More than 85% of the chemicals need catalysts during their production process.”
Catalysts help create high added value. However, in the past three years Iran could not import catalysts due to the US sanctions, he noted.
Donald Trump, the controversial and anti-Iran former US president, announced fresh economic sanctions on Iran in August 2018 targeting key economic and financial sectors. In May of that year he tore up the landmark 2015 nuclear deal Iran had signed with six world powers.
Under the sanctions regime, research centers and knowledge-based firms pooled minds and began indigenizing raw material and parts, including catalysts.
RIPI now has the technical knowhow to produce several types of catalysts used by major industrial companies including the Bandar Imam Petrochemical Company, Persian Gulf Star Refinery and South Pars Gas Complex.
“The institute recently developed the knowhow for a new type of hydrotreating catalyst used in desulfurization diesel. A contract has been signed with the knowledge-based company Nitel Pars and the product will be commercialized soon” Rashidzadeh said
A catalyst is a substance that speeds up a chemical reaction but is not consumed by it. Most solid catalysts are metals or oxides, sulfides and halides of metallic elements and semi-metallic elements such as boron, aluminum and silicon.
Domestic petrochemical plants and oil refineries use almost $400 million worth of catalysts a year, a large part of which is produced locally. In one year Iranian companies use at least 23,000 tons of catalysts.
Founded in 1959 in Tehran, RIPI is a research and development arm of the Oil Ministry. It is the largest of its kind in the Middle East and focuses on contributing to added value of a vast range of goods produced in the country.