More Iran Deals Mooted as new Sanctions Loom

06.02.2017 -

Fresh reports of agreements between Iran and chemicals-related European countries continue to roll in, even as US president, Donald Trump, threatens new sanctions against them in the wake of missile tests the Middle East country says are legal. In the latest move, the international trade journal Plastics News has reported that German engineering contractor ThyssenKrupp-Uhde is in talks about licensing its propylene production technology for plants at Salman Farsi petrochemical complex, currently under construction at Mahshahr.

The journal said Ali Mohammad Rajali, the head of Iran’s petrochemical guild, is talking to Uhde and another European company about supplying propane dehydrogenation (PDH) technology.

Salman Farsi, expected to be up and running by 2020, will provide the feedstock for nearby petrochemical complexes. Altogether, capacity for 450,000 t/y of propylene is expected to emerge.

According to Iran’s Financial Tribune, Iranian state-owned National Petrochemical Company (NPC) is talking to French industrial gas producer Air Liquide’s global E&C Solutions arm – the former German engineering contractor Lurgi – about building a PP plant at an undisclosed location. The Tribune quotes deputy head of NPC, Ali Mohammad Bosaqzadeh, as saying: “To complete the value chain of the petrochemical industry, NPC has set a tight schedule, which entails cooperation between Air Liquide and Iran’s Petrochemical Research and Technology Company in building a polypropylene unit in Iran.”

The threatened new US sanctions announced in a White House statement on Feb. 3 are not believed to affect European companies. The Trump administration is said to be targeting 13 Iranian individuals and 12 companies from the Persian Gulf to China. Further details are expected to emerge next week, when the president returns from a weekend trip to his golf resort in Florida. The administration said the sanctions were just "initial steps," and it “would no longer turn a blind eye" to what it said were Iran's hostile actions.