LDPE plant awarded, financing sought

01 November 2002

Paris-based Technip-Coflexipis pressing ahead with efforts to raise financing for a large-scale low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plant at the Olefins 9 complex in Bandar Assaluyeh after securing an estimated Eur 100 million ($97 million) contract from National Petrochemical Company (NPC). The deal, signed in Tehran on 16 October, marks Technip-Coflexip's second contract on the Olefins 9 facility, where it is also building an ethane cracker (MEED 28:12:01).

Technip-Coflexip says the turnkey contract for the 300,000-tonne-a-year LDPE unit will come into force as soon as financial arrangements for the project have been concluded. The company plans to raise financing through a multi-source export credit facility backed by major European credit agencies.

'We are looking for financing from sources in Europe, not necessarily from French banks,' says a Technip-Coflexip spokesperson. French banks, including BNP Paribasand Credit Agricole Indosuez (CAI), have provided multi-source financing to Technip-Coflexip for the Olefins 9 and Olefins 10 ethane crackers respectively (MEED 20:9:02).

Technip-Coflexip's partner on the LDPE contract is the local Nargan Consulting Engineers. The companies will carry out the basic and detailed engineering, procurement and construction as well as commissioning and start-up of the new plant, which will use technology from Stamicarbonof the Netherlands. Engineering work will be carried out at Technip-Coflexip's offices in Lyon. The plant is set to come on stream in 2005.

It is not yet clear when basic engineering will commence. Under an advanced cash payments system, Technip-Coflexip carried out basic engineering at the Olefins 10 cracker before financial arrangements had been concluded. However, Bank Markazi (central bank) is understood to have expressed legal concerns about the system, which could delay the start-up of basic engineering by several months.

Ethylene feedstock for the new LDPE plant will come from the Olefins 9 ethane cracker, which is also being built by a team of Technip-Coflexip and Nargan. The Olefins 9 complex, which operates under the name of Pars Petrochemical Company, is fully owned by NPC, except for the ethylene and polyethylene units, which are a 60:40 joint venture between NPC and South Africa's Sasol.

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