Mahshahr’s butane chain project to realize 2nd leap in petchem sector

June 23, 2020 - 12:21

TEHRAN- The first project in the butane chain in Mahshahr will be ready for operation with the aim of commercial production of three important and new items, parallel with planning for realization of the second petrochemical leap in Iran, Shana reported.

According to the National Petrochemical Company (NPC), the countdown has started for the second leap in the petrochemical industry of Iran as the first project to complete the butane chain will be put into operation in Mahshahr, southwestern Iran.

Amirkabir Petrochemical Plant is one of the successful experiences of using butane as feedstock in the petrochemical industry of Iran. Given this, Ibn Sina Petrochemical Plant is to be launched to be fed by butane.

Iran has planned for the second petrochemical leap which will be realized by 2021 or early 2022 to bring its production capacity to 100 million tons per year from currently 66 mt/y.

Once operational, the plant will supply maleic anhydride, isobutane and normal butane in Mahshahr.

Ibn Sina Petrochemical Plant is fed by roughly 71,000 tons of butane from Bandar Imam Petrochemical Plant.

Mahshahr Petrochemical Special Economic Zone in Iran’s southwestern Khuzestan Province is one of the major petrochemical zones of the country.

Last July, the managing director of Iran’s National Petrochemical Company (NPC) unveiled a plan for the construction of a new petrochemical hub in Mahshahr Petrochemical Special Economic Zone in order to add up to six million tons (mt) of new capacity to the zone.

Speaking in the annual general assembly of the Petrochemical Special Economic Zone at that time, Behzad Mohammadi noted that NPC is seeking two main goals in Mahshahr zone, one of which is maintaining the current output levels and the other, which is more important and of higher priority, is the development of the zone and attracting and facilitating investment.

“In Mahshahr's grand scheme, development of downstream and mid-stream industries is given great importance,” he said adding that the zone’s development plan is going through revision and preparation.

In last September, Mohammadi had said that by the realization of the second leap in the petrochemical industry, 62 million tons per year of feedstock (equal to 1.4 million bpd of crude oil) will be supplied to the sector by 2021.

Making the remarks on the last day of the Iran Plast 2019 international exhibition in Tehran, the official said, “This figure will reach 1.7 million bpd by 2025 when the third leap in the industry is realized.”

Petrochemical industry plays a crucial role in Iran’s non-oil economy, as the petrochemical export is the second-largest source of revenue for the country after crude oil. Petrochemical exports already constitute nearly 33 percent of the country’s non-oil exports.

Iran has been highly developing this sector over the recent years as the development of the giant South Pars gas field (Iran shares with Qatar in the Persian Gulf) has been supplying more feedstock to the petrochemical units.

Also, the U.S. sanctioning Iran’s oil exports has encouraged more development of the petrochemical industry to boost exports from this sector.

While the leap in the petrochemical output is a big measure to boost Iran’s non-oil exports, it also plays a very significant role in the realization of the current Iranian calendar year’s motto, which is “Surge in Production”.

The already released data and reports indicate that the petrochemical sector has been moving in the way of growth since the year start (March 20), as the output of petrochemical units in the first 50 days of the current year increased by six percent compared to the previous year’s same period.

According to Jalal Mirhashemi, National Petrochemical Company’s production control manager, the country’s petrochemical complexes are producing with a desired capacity, and many complexes have shown production growth since the beginning of the current year.

He said that Iran's petrochemical industry is ready to realize the surge in production intended for the current year, adding that in addition to launching and operating new projects, the existing idle capacity of some complexes will also be used with the measures taken.  

Meanwhile, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has announced that 17 new petrochemical plants are planned to be inaugurated across the country during the current year.

The new projects worth about $12 billion are aimed at increasing Iran’s annual petrochemical production by 35 percent in the present year, according to the NPC managing director.

With several new projects going operational, the country’s petrochemical production capacity is going to increase significantly this year, as said by the NPC project director.

“In the year of "Surge in Production", the petrochemical industry is trying to benefit from the most of the domestic capabilities and with the new petrochemical projects being inaugurated, the production capacity in this industry will increase significantly,” Ali-Mohammad Bosaqzadeh has said.

Noting that the balanced development of the petrochemical industry is of particular interest among the NPC strategies for the current year, the official said: "In this regard, the development of downstream petrochemical industries is going to prevent the sale of raw materials and will result in the production of products with higher added value.”

He further noted that most of the underway projects in this industry are currently using domestic equipment, licenses, and technological knowledge of the Iranian experts.

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