Iran National Petrochemical Company enters a new era

Iran’s first foreign joint venture petrochemicals project since the 1979 revolution has been agreed with the UK’s Balli Petrochemicals. The scheme is sited in the Petrochemical Special Economic Zone near Bandar Khomeini.

The joint venture, Damavand Petrochemical Company, is 60 per cent owned by Balli, with the remaining shares held by Emir Kabir Petrochemical Company, a subsidiary of the National Petrochemical Company (NPC).

Balli Petrochemicals is part of the Balli Group, a 20-year-old firm with annual sales of $2,400 million, of which $800 million came from goods manufactured by itssubsidiaries, says Vahid Alaghband, group chairman. In Iran, the company is already involved in producing 60,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of aluminium, and is the distributor for Xerox.

The plant will produce 300,000 t/y of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE). Production is scheduled to start in early 2003.

Technip of France will engineer the facility with the local Enerchimie, using the Innovene process under licence from BP Chemicals of the UK.

The LLDPE/HDPE plant is part of the Olefins 6 (the renamed Olefins 6 & 7) complex being built by Emir Kabir.

The joint venture is the first of at least nine such ventures being negotiated by NPC with foreign investors including a number of leading European producers (see Cover Story). NPC has said it wants to privatise all or most petrochemicalfacilities.

Elenac of Germany signed a letter of intent in November for a low density polyethylene (LDPE) joint venture at the olefins 6 complex; and Elenac and the Royal Dutch/Shell Group are together doing a feasibility studyfor the 8th olefins plant as a joint venture (MEED 3:12:99).