Iran has impressively large domestic market for petrochemical products in the Middle East, but in post sanction scenario, Iranian companies are focusing on the oil and petrochemicals exports. In the year of 2015, approximately 6.8 million tonnes of petrochemical products were exported, and this volume is likely to get doubled until 2023. Presently, Iranian producers export methanol with capacity of 3.4 million tones. The second most significant product exported is polyethylene HDPE, with major part delivered to China. However, in the wake of recent developments in the oil and petrochemicals, exports to China are likely to dip. Iran has working on new possibilities, and this is where, Europe and Asia fits in. To cope up with growing and challenging demands for petrochemicals, Iran is working towards construction of petrochemicals plants.
The country has imposing oil and gas resources, and is making a quick come back in lucrative petrochemicals market, after 10 years of isolation. Countries in the Europe are relying on Iran for raw materials like methanol, ethylene, propylene, butadiene/ butylene and aromates. Besides, there is also an increasing demand for direct derivatives and intermediates.
The petrochemical industry in Iran has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years. In 2015, capacity of methanol, ethylene, propylene, butadiene / butylene, aromates and their derivates totaled to 31 million tonnes. The production plants of ethylene produced over 23 %. Ethylene derivates, like ethylene dichloride (EDC) and ethylene glycol, made almost 17 % of capacity. The state of the art plants in Iran also have the capability of producing 4.8 million tonnes of the three most important types of polyethylene plastics: LDPE, LLDPE, and HDPE. New and highly advanced petrochemical plants are being constructed, and by the year 2023, at least 36 million tonnes of capacity will be added.
The end of economic sanctions by the West against Iran has created a gold-rush atmosphere for several industries. After Iran agreed to The Vienna nuclear agreement, the United Nations and the European Union put an end to their nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions on January 16, 2016, aka “Implementation Day”. There were also several other restrictions in the segments of finance and energy, which were eliminated.
Financial relations are speedily getting normal, and connecting to the SWIFT-system. There are also very high expectations of massive increase of trade volume for various goods in few years, especially the petrochemical industry, as the result of amazing oil and natural gas deposits.