Iran expects to sign its biggest oil refining contracts worth $8.6 billion with a number of Japanese, Chinese and South Korean companies this month or later, Deputy Oil Minister Abbas Kazemi said on Wednesday.
The biggest deal is reserved for Japan's Marubeni, Chiyoda and Mitsui companies to upgrade Isfahan refinery, Kazemi said.
"Negotiations have been held with the three companies and the deal for this massive refining project worth $3.6 billion is expected to be finalized soon," he said.
Another $2 billion contract is about to be signed with South Korea's Daelim to boost oil processing capacity at Isfahan refinery, Kazemi added.
However, the most imminent contract, valued at $3 billion, is expected to be concluded within the next couple of weeks with the Chinese to develop and improve the quality of Abadan refinery.
Kazemi said the formal implementation of the project beginning in the current Iranian month, which started on January 21, with the participation of energy officials from the two countries as well as senior directors of China's Sinopec Company.
The scheme is planned to cut furnace oil production at the plant to about 20 per cent from the current 40 per cent, the official said.
China has opened $1.3-billion credit line to finance the plan, he said, adding another $1.7 billion is expected to be opened in the spring.
Iran plans to sign contracts worth $14 billion to fix and upgrade the quality of Tehran, Bandar Abbas, Isfahan, Tabriz and Abadan refineries, said Kazemi who is also managing director of National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company(NIORDC).
Plans to construct 12 new oil refineries - Meanwhile, Iran has begun the construction of 12 oil and gas condensate refinery complexes, said director of corporate planning at NIORDC, according to the Iran Daily report.
Currently nine refineries with an aggregate total capacity of 1.73 million barrels are functioning across the country, added Arman Moqaddam, the report said.
Moqaddam further stated that Iran has 13,000 km of pipelines for the transmission of crude oil products. "More than 5,500 gas oil and compressed natural gas stations are operating in Iran," he added.