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Iran breaks West's monopoly on production of turboexpanders

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This picture shows a turboexpander domestically designed and manufactured by Iranian experts at Shazand Petrochemical Company (ARPC) in central Iran. (Photo by Shana news agency)

Iranian experts and technicians at the Shazand Petrochemical Company (ARPC) in Iran’s central province of Markazi have domestically designed and manufactured a turboexpander, also known as expansion turbine, breaking the West’s monopoly on production of the highly advanced device.

According to a republished by Iran's ministry of petroleum's Shana news agency, the specialists pulled off the feat in collaboration with an Iranian knowledge-based firm. The turboexpander is manufactured by just three Western countries.

The homegrown turboexpander will reportedly save the major Iranian petrochemical companies millions of dollars, as they can now purchase the turbine, which is commonly used in low-temperature processes, at a much lower price compared to their foreign-built versions. 

The indigenous turboexpander is currently operating at ARPC, exchanging heat and providing fuel to the furnaces of its olefin plant.

The Shazand Petrochemical Company has expressed its full readiness to supply other Iranian petrochemical complexes with its homegrown turboexpander.  

Turboexpanders are widely used as sources of refrigeration in industrial processes such as the extraction of ethane and natural-gas liquids (NGLs) from natural gas, the liquefaction of gases (such as oxygen, nitrogen, helium, argon and krypton) and other low-temperature processes.

Turboexpanders currently in operation range in size from about 750 W to about 7.5 MW (1 hp to about 10,000 hp).

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