Iran launches three major petrochemical projects

The projects, namely the olefin and sulfur recovery units of Ilam Petrochemical Plant, the potassium sulfate unit of Urmia Petrochemical Plant and Hegmataneh Petchem Plant, were inaugurated by President Hassan Rouhani via video conference on Thursday.

Behzad Mohammadi, the CEO of the National Petrochemical Company (NPC), told Shana, "Since the beginning of this [calendar] year (which began on March 21), 6 projects have been inaugurated in line with the commitment to launch 17 petrochemical projects in the year. This number will reach 9 with tomorrow's openings.”

He said by launching the projects, the total production capacity of the petrochemical industry will increase from currently 66 million tons to 77 million tons per year, adding with the continuation of the process of completing the plans in the current year, the country’s petrochemical production capacity will reach 90 million tons per year.

Olefin and Sulfur Recovery Units of Ilam Petrochemical Plant

The units have come on stream with a total annual production capacity of 750,000 tons and an investment of €866 million.

Speaking to Shana, the plant’s CEO, Hassan Najafi-Semnani, said construction of the plant began on 2003 with 4 process units of SRU, olefin, heavy polyethylene and ancillary services with the aim of completing the value chain, removing poverty in the region and generation of jobs.

He stated that the heavy polyethylene unit and ancillary services of Ilam Petrochemical Plant officially came online in 2014, adding: "By inauguration of the olefin unit, the feedstock of the heavy polyethylene unit, which has been received from the West Ethylene Pipeline, will be supplied from this unit."

The CEO of Ilam Petrochemical Company further added that the SRU of the facility was developed with €56m of investment and has been built to sweeten the olefin feedstock, adding: “The sweetened feedstock will be transferred to the olefin unit for production of ethylene, propylene, pyrolysis gasoline and liquid fuel.”

Najafi-Semnani said the SRU is fed by 349,000 tons of C3+ fraction and heavier sulfur fractions and 416,000 tons of C5+ fraction and heavier sulfur fractions, and continued the annual production capacity of this unit is 331,000 tons of desulfurized of C3+ fraction and heavier and 401,000 tons of C5+ fraction and heavier.

He said that the share of domestic construction in the SRU is an average of 72.5 percent, including engineering, construction, installation and manufacturing of equipment.

The unit is licensed by Axens and built by Iran’s Energy Industries Engineering and Design (EIED).

Furthermore, the olefin unit is fed by 233,000 tons of ethane, 328,000 tons of C3+ and heavier fractions and 391,000 tons of C5+ and heavier fractions per year. The unit is designed to yield 458,000 tons of ethylene, 124,000 tons of propylene, 132,000 tons of pyrolysis gasoline and 33,000 tons of liquid fuel annually.

Najafi-Semnani went on to add that the unit is financed by €810 million, adding the total value of the unit's annual production is $439 million and the surplus sales value is $235 million. 305,000 tons of ethylene produced by olefin unit is consumed in heavy polyethylene unit and sale of the surplus ethylene is 153,000 tons.

He continued that 70% of the construction of the olefin unit, including engineering, building, installation and equipment manufacture, was completed domestically, adding this unit was licensed by UK’s Stone&Webster Limited.

The two units generate 1,700 jobs during its installation, and 250 direct and 870 indirect jobs while operating.

Iranian Investment Petrochemical Group Company (IIPGC), a subsidiary of the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (PGPIC) is the main stockholder of Ilam Petrochemical Company.

Potassium Sulfate Unit of Urmia Petchem Plant

The unit will operate in line with an annual production capacity of 40,000 tons of potassium sulfate and 50,000 tons of hydrochloric acid.

Construction of the unit began in 2018 in order to complete the value chain and the development of downstream industries. The project was completed in less than 24 months by domestic experts, and today (Thursday, December 24) it is coming online as one of the projects in the second petrochemical leap of the country.

This unit has been built with an investment of 585 billion Iranian rials. It is fed with 22,800 tons of sulfuric acid and 34,000 tons of crude potassium chloride annually. The unit is designed with annually 40,000 tons of potassium sulfate and 50,000 tons of hydrochloric acid production capacity.

The sales value of the items supplied by Urmia Petrochemical Plant’s Potassium Sulfate Unit is estimated at a total of 4,650 billion Iranian rials.

Urmia Petrochemical Plant’s Potassium Sulfate Unit is licensed by China’s CNBM and has been designed and carried out by Pars Qeshm Arseh Afroozan Engineering Company.

The unit’s construction created 70 jobs. During its operation, it will generate 50 direct and 230 indirect jobs mostly from the locals.

Urmia Petrochemical Company is a subsidiary of the Iranian Investment Petrochemical Group (Petrol) and the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (PGPIC).

Hegmataneh Petchem Plant

This project is the first producer of medical-grade granulation powder and PVC in the country with an annual capacity of 45,000 tons.

The license to establish Hegmataneh Petrochemical Plant was issued by the National Petrochemical Company in September 2002.

Since last year, with the support of the Ministry of Petroleum and the National Petrochemical Company, the financial resources of this project were provided and it was completed as one of the second-leap projects of the petrochemical industry, and for the first time in the country, a valuable medical-grade PVC is produced.

The strategic product of medical-grade granulation is one of the most unique petrochemical products in the world and only a few countries have the technological know-how to produce it. By the inauguration of the plant, Iran will no longer need to import the item.

This project was built with an investment of $30 million and 3,000 billion Iranian rials on a 15-hectare land 10 km in the Hamadan-Tehran artery.

Hegmataneh Petrochemical Plant is fed with an estimated 45,000 tons of vinyl chloride monomer per year and the sales value of the products based on the base price of 2016 is estimated at $35 million per year.

The technical savvy of this unit belongs to the Italian company IGS and has been built with the participation of the private sector and the National Petrochemical Company in three process, utility and offsite units.

The implementation of the Hegmataneh Petrochemical Project has created employment for 500 people during its construction and 250 people during operation.


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