Iran’s Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company is looking to sign a deal with France’s Total for carrying out feasibility studies that would lead to petrochemical ventures in Iran.
"Serious talks are underway with two multinationals, one of which is Total, to attract $9.5 billion in investment for commencing petrochemical joint ventures," the managing director of PGPIC, Adel Nejad-Salim was also quoted as saying by NIPNA, the official news agency of National Petrochemical Company on Sunday.
Nejad-Salim said, "As long as mega petrochemical ventures are not internationally funded, government and non-government bodies cannot help the potentially lucrative industry flourish."
Pars Special Economic Energy Zone in Asalouyeh and the Parsian Special Economic Energy Zone in Bushehr Province are being studied by local firms and a final decision will be made soon, he added.
Total has reached a preliminary agreement to build three petrochemical plants, with a total capacity of 2.2 million tons in a deal that, if finalised, could see the French oil major investing up to $2 billion in Iran.
The first preliminary agreement is for the construction of two polyethylene units and an ethane cracker unit to convert ethane to ethylene, he said.
Iran is attempting to double annual petrochemical production capacity from the present 65 million tons by opening up the sector to foreign investors. It has said an investment of $72 billion would be needed in from foreign firms for 80 major petrochemical projects.