EghtesadOnline: Three petrochemical companies in southern Iran have been collaborating with domestic catalyst producers and knowledge-based firms to indigenize catalysts.
Hengam Petrochemical Company on Hengam Island in the Persian Gulf has signed deals with Iranian catalyst providers for the supply of catalysts needed for the production of urea and ammonia, managing director of the company said.
“Eight catalysts are used for urea and ammonia production, of which seven catalysts have been localized and when the last one, ammonia’s synthesis catalyst, is produced locally, the country will no longer need to import them,” Alireza Javanmardi was also quoted as saying by the National Petrochemical Company’s news website Nipna.
The ammonia unit annually produces 726,000 tons and the nominal capacity of the urea unit is 155,000 tons per year.
The main use of ammonia is in the production of fertilizers. It is also used directly as a fertilizer and in the production of materials such as ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate, mono ammonium phosphate, diammonium phosphate, urea and other fertilizers.
Urea is mainly used as fertilizer in the agriculture field and as raw material in other industries.
Nouri Petrochemical Plant in southern Bushehr Province has signed an agreement with Iranian knowledge-based companies to localize the catalyst used in the continuous catalytic reforming (CCR) units, the managing director of the plant said.
“The manufacture and supply of the catalyst widely used in the aromatic industry are now monopolized by French companies, including Exxon, but soon we will be able to produce it domestically,” Nipna also quoted Taqi Sanei as saying.
Catalytic reforming is a chemical process used to convert petroleum refinery naphthas distilled from crude oil into high-octane liquid products called reformates, which are premium blending stocks for high-octane gasoline.
Sanei stated that currently six catalysts out of the eight ones used in Nouri Petrochemical Plant have been indigenized.
In addition to the catalysts, over 3,500 parts and equipment have been localized in the facility, he added.
Sanei noted that the plant’s output is expected to reach 4.8 million tons by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20), which would be regarded as a historic annual record in the production of aromatic items in the country.
Nouri is one of the world’s largest production plants for aromatics. It is a subsidiary of the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company, the biggest consortium of Iranian petrochemical producers.
The plant's output, which includes paraxylene, orthoxaylene and raffinate, are mainly shipped to Persian Gulf Arab countries as well India, China and South Korea.
Tondgouyan Petrochemical Company in Mahshahr City, Khuzestan Province, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Iranian knowledge-based companies for developing palladium catalyst, managing director of the company said.
“The catalyst, which is a pretty complex one, is currently supplied only by a few major European companies, including Germany’s BASF and Italy’s ClarineT,” Seyyed Reza Qasemi-Shahri said.
The chief use of palladium is in automobile catalytic converters. The palladium serves as a catalyst to convert polluting hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide in the exhaust to water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen.
Tondgouyan is the largest supplier of polyethylene terephthalate, better known PET. It also produces Purified Therephtalic Acid as one of the main raw materials for PET.
PET is a clear, strong and lightweight plastic that is widely used for packaging foods and beverages, especially soft drinks, juices and water.
The TPC chief also said a $36 million contract for enhancing and diversifying the bottle grade of the company has also been signed with Iranian finance.
Qasemi-Shahri elaborated that the deal had been signed with an Iranian company for increasing the production capacity of different grades of PET items by 50 tons.
In addition to increasing production capacity, the diversification of produced grades with the aim of changing the use of one of the units of textile pet grade to bottle grade is another goal of the project. In other words, by implementing the project, at times when the demand for bottle grade is high, the company can shift its production to this grade.
The project would come on stream within 18 months, he added.