Sanctions have had “a tremendous effect” on Iran’s petrochemicals sector, according to FACTS Global Energy (FGE). In the 17 September report US and EU Sanctions: Crippling Effects on Iran’s Petroleum Industry, FGE observes: “Although ethylene exports have ceased, methanol, polyethylene and xylene continue their routes, albeit in significantly reduced quantities. Shipping data confirmed a sharp drop in Iranian petrochemical exports, which includes methanol, xylene and caustic soda, to around 60,000 tons/week in May from a weekly average of 350,000 tons last year. Chinese firms such as Nanjing Tankers and Sinochem Corporation have been able to get insurance from domestic providers and were reaping huge profits from conducting the niche trade.”

The report notes that technical companies such as Linde, UOP, Lurgi, Uhde, SK, Mitsubishi, Toyo, Samsung, Basell and BASF are no longer providing technology, licenses, equipment and/or catalysts to Iranian petrochemicals projects. Among projects impacted by sanctions FGE lists: the Arya Sasol polyolefins plant, in which Sasol is selling its 50% equity; Oman Oil Company’s Hormuz Urea and Ammonia project, which has been cancelled; Venezuelan state firm Pequiven’s methanol joint venture, which has been halted; Indonesia firm Pusri’s Hengam Ammonia and Urea project, which has been halted; and Hansa Chemie’s Karoun Iso-cyanates plant, in which the German firm sold its shares to a subsidiary of Iranian state firm National Petrochemical Company (NPC). (CONTINUED - 336 WORDS)