In January 2016, the United Nations and the European Union abolished numerous sanctions against the Iran: A country with more than 75 million consumers returns to the global market now; business relations are normalizing step by step. All industries can profit thereof, especially the petrochemical industry due to the large oil and natural gas deposits of the Iran. On time for the 10th "IranPlast"-trade fair in Tehran, the market research institute Ceresana analyzed the market for petrochemical products in Iran extensively for the first time: from raw materials to derivates and intermediates, and to plastics.
Considerable Increases in Capacity
The petrochemical industry in Iran was extended considerably in the past years. In 2015, total capacity of methanol, ethylene, propylene, butadiene / butylene, aromates and the respective derivates amounted to 31 million tonnes. Thereof, the production plants of ethylene accounted for more than 23%. Ethylene derivates, such as ethylene dichloride (EDC) and ethylene glycol, accounted for almost 17% of capacity. Iranian factories are also able to produce, for example, 4.8 million tonnes of the three most important types of polyethylene plastics, namely LDPE, LLDPE, and HDPE. Additional petrochemical plants are already under construction. Until 2023, at least 36 million tonnes of capacity are supposed to be added.
Growing Export to Europe
Although the Iran is one of the largest domestic markets for petrochemical products in the Middle East, the focus of many Iranian companies is on export. In 2015, around 6.8 million tonnes of petrochemical products were exported. Ceresana expects this volume to almost double until 2023. At present, Iranian producers export mainly methanol - in the past years, an amount of 3.4 million tonnes. The second most important export product was polyethylene HDPE. The major part has been delivered to China so far. Analysts of Ceresana do not expect demand for imports in China to remain at the present level. However, new possibilities for exports for the Iran are revealed, especially to Europe and to other Asian countries. Therefore, the Iran is trying to complete numerous constructions of petrochemical plants with the support of foreign investors at present.