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Iran has a backlog of 67 partially-completed petrochemicals projects totaling a massive 45.8mn tons/year in capacity. Even if $40bn can be found to clear the backlog, finding the 3bn cfd of ‘spare’ gas to fuel this capacity may be an even taller order.
Iran’s state-controlled National Petrochemical Company (NPC) reckons that $40bn will need to be spent to complete 67 petrochemicals projects. The backlog comprises a mixture of crackers and linked polymers plants, an ethylene pipeline to deliver feed to remote polyolefins plants, numerous large methanol and fertilizer plants, as well as utilities projects (see table).
Many projects in the backlog were initiated during Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zanganeh’s first spell in the role, which ended when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected in 2005. Later projects were awarded to local contractors, after international firms withdrew from Iran because of international sanctions against Tehran’s nuclear program.
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