TEHRAN, Nov. 7 (Mehr News Agency) - Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh said here on Tuesday Iran will attain three percent of world's petrochemical market share by March 2008 by increasing the capacity of its current plans.
"Also by the same period, the country is expected to produce thirty percent of petrochemicals in Middle East," he added at the inaugural ceremony of Iran Plast 2006.
The minister also said, "The Fourth and Fifth Five-Year development plans are aimed to fulfill sales of $20 billion petrochemical products, falling on 2015."
Fifth International Exhibition of Iran Plast 2006 kicked off on Tuesday at the Tehran Permanent International Fairgrounds (TPIF).
Showcasing plastic and rubber products as well as machineries and raw materials, Iran Plast 2006 will run until 11 November.
It covers a land area as large as 30,435 sq. m, and is hosting foreign companies from Germany, Austria, Australia, Canada, Egypt, Malaysia, Spain, the Netherlands, Japan, France, Swiss, Spain, India, UAE, Italy, Sweden, India, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Turkey, and China.
Also attending Iran Plast 2006 opening ceremony, Gholam-Hossein Nejabat, the managing director of the National Iranian Petrochemical Company (NPC) said that Iran presently produces over two million tons of polymer products per year, which will increase to 4.5 million tons per annum in the near future.
The goal, he added, will be realized through the operation of polymer productions units under construction according to the Third Five-Year Development Plan.
He noted that polymer products constitute 231,000 tons of annual petrochemical exports valued at Rls.270 million.
Europe, China, India, and southeastern Asian states are the major importers of Iran's petrochemical products, Nejabat stated.
Annual refining capacity to increase by 3m barrels by 2011
Deputy oil minister Mohammad-Reza Nematzadeh said that Iran's oil refining capacity would observe an increase by three million barrels per year by 2011.
Speaking at Iran's annual seminar of oil, gas, and petrochemical exporters held in Tehran on Tuesday, he added that the growth in refinery capacity is to be achieved through upgrading and developing refineries of Isfahan, Abadan, Shiraz, Arak, Tehran, Tabriz, and Lavan.
The construction of a gasoline production unit at Abadan, in southwestern province of Khuzestan, is included as well, he added.
The managing director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) put the current refineries' nominal and practical capacities at 1.3 and 1.6 million barrels per day respectively.
Moreover, the head of the Majlis (Iranian Parliament) Energy Commission Kamal Daneshyar said that the private sector should increase its share of investment in refining and distribution sector to 80 percent in the spirit of privatization process envisaged by Article 44 of the Constitution.
Kamal Daneshyar added, "To fulfill its share, the private sector should make total investment of $50 billion."
MP noted that oil, gas, petrochemical, exploration and production require a total investment of $200 billion over the next ten years. "Given that the governmental budget necessary for the investment is insufficient, the private sector must be more active."
On the other hand, the official added, more participation of the private sector calls for removing obstacles in investment process in the country.
The attendees at the annual seminar of oil, gas, and petrochemical exporters then voiced their concern about the problems to be faced by the sector in oil products exports, participation in petrochemical field, and the future opportunities.
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