OICO inks deal with NPC for operation, maintenance of world’s top ethylene pipeline

September 12, 2021 - 15:43

TEHRAN - Iranian Oil Industries Commissioning and Operation Company (OICO) has signed a deal with the National Petrochemical Company (NPC) for the operation and maintenance of the country’s West Ethylene Pipeline (WEP) which is the world’s largest ethylene pipeline.

As reported by Shana, the deal was signed on Sunday by Jalal Mir-Hashemi, the NPC's director for the production control and OICO’s Chairman of the Board Manouchehr Taheri, in a ceremony attended by senior officials including NPC Head Behzad Mohammadi.

Based on the mentioned deal, the operation, repair, and maintenance of the West Ethylene Transmission Pipeline, including pipelines and pressure boosting stations, has been assigned to OICO as the contractor.

Commissioned in 2012, WEP is the most important investment project by Iran's petroleum industry for developing western areas of the country.

This pipeline is 2,700 kilometers long and feeds petrochemical plants in Kermanshah, Andimeshk, Lorestan, Kordestan, Miandoab and Mahabad.

The pipeline was approved by the government in 2002 for the purpose of compensating for creating jobs, engaging the private sector, stimulating production and upgrading technology in the western provinces. The project was initially supposed to become operational in 2007, but due to many changes, technical challenges, increased costs and insufficient budget allocation the inauguration was delayed.

WEP has the capacity of carrying 3.5 million tons of ethylene, 2.5 million tons of which comes from South Pars and the rest from Gachsaran. That would feed 12 petrochemical plants in the west of the country.

The petrochemical industry plays a crucial role in Iran’s non-oil economy, as the export of such products 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.

Facing the restrictions that the unjust U.S. sanctions brought about for the oil industry, its development has not been halted and, with a change in strategies, the Oil Ministry has been distancing itself from crude selling and is moving toward the production of products with more value-added.

One of the major areas for the realization of this goal has been the petrochemical industry, where a wide range of valuable products can be produced from Iran’s vast oil and gas resources.


Photo: NPC Director for production control Jalal Mir-Hashemi (L) and OICO’s Chairman of the Board Manouchehr Taheri signing agreement documents in Tehran on Sunday.

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