The 800,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) facility will be located in the Pars Special Economic/Energy Zone near Bandar Assaluyeh. Methanol feedstock for the plant will be sourced from Zagros, which produces 1.65 million t/y at its complex. The DME produced will be based on technology developed by Haldor for the dehydration of methanol and made available in Iran through scientific and technological collaboration with NPCRT. Engineering is ongoing and a tender for the plant’s construction is expected by the end of the third quarter.

The cost of building the facility will be marginally greater than for a similar-sized conventional methanol plant. Zagros is understood to have approached a number of international contractors to carry out the project, including Germany’s Lurgi, Italy’s Snamprogettiand Japan’s Toyo Engineering Corporation. Five local companies have been selected and approved by Zagros as potential partners (MEED 5:12:03).

No export agreements for the DME have yet been agreed, and it is understood that NPC is looking to create a market for the product inside Iran, primarily for household and light industrial use or for adding to the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) pool.