Article published in the March/April issue of ERJ
London – The nearly-untapped Iranian market is now on the radar for many Western investors, three months after international sanctions were lifted against the Islamic Republic.
Among the key agreements in the tire and rubber sector was a €1-billion memorandum of understanding signed between Tehran and Italy’s Maire Tecnimont in February, which will see the Italian firm building a refinery and petrochemicals plant in the southern oil and gas rich Assaluyeh port.
Tecnimont will carry out the engineering design and construction of a rubber and ABS plant as part of Iran’s bid to create the “biggest petrochemical park in the Middle East”, Iranian media reported on 14 Feb.
“Tecnimont will cooperate with Iran in providing finance, equipment and facilities, and tackling process glitches in the petrochemical complexes,” said CEO Pierroberto Folgiero who was travelling to Tehran for the agreement.
The agreement followed a multi-billion-euro oil and gas agreements between Iran and Italian oil giants Eni and Saipem during a visit by president Hassan Rowhani to Rome in January.
The increasing level of interest in projects in Iran was voiced by yet another Italian company, Versalis.
Eni’s petrochemicals arm told ERJ that “Iran is one of the most attractive markets today and we are ready to restart the past good relationship that we had with our licensees again.”
France’s energy company Total also signed an MoU with the Iranian National Petrochemicals Company (NPC) in March, to build a petrochemicals complex in the country.
The complex, according to NPC, will include a steam-cracker unit that will be built in coastal regions to be fed by ethane, naphtha, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and other liquid feedstock.