The project is expected to be the biggest tendered by NPC this year and will constitute the world’s biggest standalone ethane cracker, with nameplate capacity of 1.9 million tonnes a year (t/y). The cracker will provide feedstock for the 1.1 million-t/y West ethylene pipeline, which will supply ethylene for five new petrochemical plants along the impoverished western border. Small sections of the pipeline have already been tendered to local companies. Product not fed into the pipeline will be used for a number of other projects including: a 300,000-t/y high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant; a 400,000-t/y ethylene glycol (EG) plant, which itself will feed a 660,000-t/y mono-ethylene glycol plant (MEG); and a 60,000-t/y ethyl butane unit.

Olefins 12 will use 3 million t/y of South Pars condensates and 2.5 million t/y of heavy ends from the aromatics 3 and 4 plants in Assaluyeh as feedstock. The unit will also produce 850,000 t/y of propylene and 530,000 t/y of C4, as well as 850,000 t/y of fuel oil. The propylene will be used as feedstock for styrene and polypropylene production; and the C4 for butadiene, pyrolysis gasoline, benzene, toluene and xylene.

Companies that have traditionally bid on cracker projects in Iran are Paris-based Technip, Germany’s Linde, Europe’s ABB Lummus Globaland the European office of Stone & Webster. Technip is now building a cracker on Kharg island in the Gulf. Bids for three other cracker projects at the olefins 8 and 11 and Ilam complexes are under evaluation by NPC.