Iran has resumed exports of petrochemicals to Europe with a shipment of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) to Belgium following the lifting of U.S.-led Iranian trade sanctions.
Leading Iranian plastics producer, JAM Petrochemical Co. (JPC) of Tehran announced it was making the first 2,000-metric-ton consignment, shipped in C-Bulk packaging, during the week of Dec. 22.
Polymer shipments were a result of talks by the company during its participation in last month's 24th Plast Eurasia Istanbul show staged in Turkey. The event coincided with the re-start of firm's sea exports to Turkey, according to JAM.
“We had very fruitful negotiations during this exhibition, including the re-start of export to European destinations in bulk orders, which was stopped due to sanctions,” explained JPC's head of marketing and sales Mohsen Farahi.
The initial bulk polymer shipment to Belgium, worth 1.68 million euros ($1.9 million), “will be the starting point to increase the non-oil and petrochemicals products export to Europe,” the executive said in statement.
JPC has the capacity to produce up to 300,000 metric tons per year of LLDPE with one of the biggest units in Iran. It has a 42-metric-ton-per-hour extruder output allowing the firm to manufacture up to 54 product grades.
Commenting on foreign investment in Iran, Farahi added that two Turkish companies had expressed interest in investing in the country's petrochemical sector and that bilateral talks are continuing.
Iran's petrochemical sector was a major target of international sanctions introduced by the U.S. and European Union countries in June 2013 because of the country's continued nuclear development program.
Petrochemicals were Iran's second most important source of foreign revenue after oil.
JPC has an overall ethylene capacity of 1.32 million metric tons per year, and is capable of producing up to 306,000 metric tons annually of propylene at one of Iran's largest olefin manufacturing units at its major petrochemicals site at Assaluyeh in Boushehr province.
Downstream, the company's offshoot JAM Polypropylene has a 300,000 metric ton per year PP resin plant.
The group also produces high density polyethylene with a 300,000 metric ton per year unit and is part of a joint styrene products manufacturing park in Assaluyeh's Pars Special Economic Energy Zone with a capacity of 760,000 metric tons per year.
JPC, also has an ABS and rubber operation, is one of four partners in the Gohar Ofogh Industrial Park Development project. The companies, supplied with styrene monomer by Pars Petrochemical, will manufacture other products including polystyrene, expanded polystyrene and styrene butadiene rubber at the site.
Iran is reported to have earned petrochemical export income worth more than 10 billion euros ($11.8 billion) in 2014 and plans to raise this figure during 2015.