Source: Tehran Times
Iran plans to turn Chabahar Port, located in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan on the coast of the Gulf of Oman, to the third petrochemical hub of the country, IRNA reported on Tuesday.
In line with this plan 21 petrochemical complexes are projected to be established in the Chabahar Free Trade Zone, National Iranian Petrochemical Company Managing Director Abbas She'ri Moqaddam said.
Since Chabahar is close to the great Indian and the Chinese markets it has an advantage over the two existing petrochemical hubs, namely Assalouyeh and Mahshahr, which are located in the southwestern province of Bushehr on the Persian Gulf coasts, he explained.
This issue will considerably reduce transportation costs to great markets like those in India and China, he added.
On June 7, She'ri Moqaddam said Iran plans to boost annual petrochemical output to 180 million tons from around 60 million tons currently.
The official said that by implementing four petrochemical plans, worth $41 billion, Iran's annual petrochemical output will witness a two-million-ton growth in the current Iranian calendar year, which will end on March 20, 2015.
Iran's oil and petrochemical exports have increased following some sanctions relief on the Islamic Republic, specifically the easing of EU and U.S. bans on the country's petrochemical exports.
The ban ease is part of an agreement inked in Geneva last November between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the United States, France, Britain, Russia, and China -- plus Germany, under which the six countries agreed to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period.
The Geneva deal took effect on January 20.
Chabahar is a gateway for India
Chabahar is a natural gateway for India to Afghanistan and Central Asia.
Over the last 10 years, Iran has invested considerable sums of money in the development of Chabahar. A 600km-long highway links Chabahar to the city of Zahedan, which is only about 240 kilometers from Milak on the Iran-Afghanistan border. Across Milak is Zaranj in Afghanistan where India has built the Zaranj-Delaram highway. Thus, there is already excellent road connectivity between Chabahar and Afghanistan via Zahedan.
Iran has also started the construction of a railway line from Chabahar to Zahedan where it will connect Iran to Central Asian states and other CIS countries through rail networks.
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