Under the expansion programme, which is being carried out in five phases, NPC will gradually increase production capacity until 2013. By the end of phase 3 in 2005, the company will produce more than 20 million t/y of petrochemicals, 4.1 million tonnes of which will be in the form of polymers. Phase 1 has been completed while phase 2, originally scheduled for 2003, is running slightly behind schedule, with completion now due in 2004. Phases 4 and 5 will see production capacity rise to about 43 million t/y of petrochemicals by the end of 2013.

‘Total investment in the petrochemicals industry is anticipated to reach about $18 billion by the end of 2013,’ Ehtiati said at Tehran’s first international trade fair for plastic and rubber, Iran Plast 2002.

The bulk of the production facilities will be located in NPC’s Petrochemical Special Economic Zone in Bandar Imam and in the Pars Special Energy Economic Zone in Bandar Assaluyeh. Among the new products to be added are acetic acid, isocyanates and di-methyl ether (DME).