A glance at Iran’s current and future propylene and poly propylene (Report)

30 June, 2020
Source: IranOilGas.com

The propylene and polypropylene production chain is one of the most important production cycles in Iran and various projects are being planned or implemented with the aim of increasing the production capacity of these products.

In an interview with Donya-e-Eghtesad News daily, Ali Mohammad Bosaghzadeh, projects manager at Iran’s National Petrochemical Co. (NPC), talked about the company’s plans on propylene and polypropylene production increase in coming years. The most important summary is as follows:

- Iran’s propylene production last (Iranian) year (ended 20the March 2020) amounted 985,000 tons, while the consumption capacity was 1.06 Mln tons. Assuming the current conditions continue, in Iranian year 1404 (year ending March 2025) we will have a production of 1.95 Mln tons, while the consumption capacity will increase to 2.6 Mln tons. But with the implementation of new projects, this production will increase to 3.8 Mln tons.

- At present, Iran’s propylene comes from Arak and Abadan oil refineries as well as Tabriz, Arak Shazand, Jam, Amir Kabir, Bandar Imam and Ilam petrochemical complexes. In the future, it is planned to increase the production of propylene and polypropylene by implementing methanol-to-propylene (MTP) and gas to polypropylene (GTPP) projects as well as PDH projects.

- In the case of PDH units whose feed is propane, there is a limit to the use of propane, so that the relevant butane must be consumed elsewhere at the same time. Fortunately, with the agreement we made with the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), so far the export ratio of these two products has become 50-50. Earlier, 75% of propane and 25% of butane were exported as LPG.

- About the MTP and polypropylene projects, NPC has got Iran’s Economic Council’s permission to utilize Iranian made license for construction of a 120,000 tons MTP plant, which is hoped to be on-stream in the next 3 years. NPC has also the EC permission to construct Islam Abad Gharb GTPP plant. We also reviewing a plan to construct a 470,000 tons MTP plant in Assaluyeh, the engineering of which has already started.

- NPC is looking to establish a propylene transmission pipeline network in the country. At present, the Oil Ministry has issued the initial license for the propylene pipeline from Assaluyeh to Marvdasht, and we expect to enter the implementation phase after the approval process. We try to give priority to the private sector for implementation and investment on this pipeline. In northern Iran, projects are planned for the production of propylene, for example, we are considering to construct an MTP plant in Amirabad Port, and the propylene produced is to be transferred to Damghan in Semnan province via a pipeline.

- We have 4 means for funding the new projects:
o Utilizing 40% of NPC revenues 
o Domestic capital market
o Petrochemical Project Fund
o Foreign finance

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