South Korea’s Hyundai has held negotiations with Iran for participation in the country’s petrochemical projects, joining major international companies in hunt for new opportunities.
Hyundai is the latest energy company to declare interest in Iran’s plans for “a second leap in its petrochemical industry” after negotiations with the likes of Germany’s Linde and BASF and Royal Dutch Shell.
“Brand name international companies are after renewed presence in Iran’s petrochemical industry development plans," deputy head of the National Petrochemical Company Mohammad Hossein Peyvandi said Thursday.
He said officials of European and Asian firms have repeatedly made formal applications for a share in Iran's new development projects over the past few months.
Representatives from trading companies have repeatedly visited Tehran and some of them have placed permanent representatives there.
The petrochemical industry is the biggest source of foreign earnings for Iran after oil but US sanctions have caused exports to decline. Officials have said about $70 billion of investment is needed in the sector over the next 10 years.
Iran’s total petrochemical production capacity stands at 60 million metric tons per year which the country plans to double.
Last month, secretary of the Association of Petrochemical Industry Corporations (AIPC) Ahmad Mahdavi said Iran has worked out a “special plan” for exports of petrochemical products to the US.
The plan is part of Iran’s bid to diversify its petrochemical market which will open up further to the country’s products once sanctions are lifted, he said.