The Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company has an installed capacity of 28 million tons, which will reach 33 million tons in the near future with the launch of new projects, the deputy for planning and business development at PGPIC said.
Moreover, plans are underway to further increase the installed capacity to 46 million tons by 2026, Hassan Neshanzadeh was also reported as saying by the Oil Ministry’s news portal. “The company seeks to close the gap with the German company BASF; this is achievable due to the country’s huge resources and the capabilities of its knowledge-based companies,” he added.
BASF is a German multinational chemical company and the largest chemical producer in the world. According to the latest ICIS Top 100 Chemical Companies listing, PGPIC presently ranks 23rd in the world, while it was placed 37th last year. PGPIC is a public holding company that manages natural gas processing plants and chemical factories, as well as oil and polymer companies.
As Iran’s largest petrochemical company with 60 subsidiaries, PGPIC accounts for 42% of the national petrochemical production, which is about 70 million tons per year. PGPIC topped the country for several years in such indices as sales index, market value, export volume, profitability and generation of value added. It has invested over $2.3 billion in various projects in the past three years, despite sanctions imposed by the US on the company.
In May 2018, the US pulled out of the nuclear deal signed between Iran and six world powers in 2015 and imposed new sanctions. The US Treasury Department in June 2019 announced new restrictions on Iran's petrochemical sector that applied to PGPIC and 39 of its subsidiaries and foreign agents. This slowed down the progress of PGPIC projects but did not dislodge it, because domestic companies and manufacturers have been filling the gaps and supplying a major part of the equipment. The PGPIC official said Iranian knowledge-based companies are competing with large European companies and their products are comparable to European counterparts. Regarding the indigenization of equipment in the petrochemical industry, Neshanzadeh noted that 75% of the required equipment have already been localized and the figure is expected to reach 80% within a year.
The petrochemical industry has played a key role in Iran’s economic growth, as it creates value-added and reduces the sale of oil and gas on which the economy has been dependent for decades.
With abundant hydrocarbon reserves and new private sector investments, Iran is working hard to maintain its global status in the key sector and broaden its scope. A large variety of petrochemicals are produced in Iran, for which there is high international demand. They are exported to 30 Asian, European and South American countries.