With the end of many international sanctions against Iran, German and Turkish companies are negotiating to invest in new petrochemicals projects in the country's far northwestern Maku Free Trade Zone.
The would-be investors, already in talks several months before international sanctions against Iran were finally lifted this month, have targeted Maku FTZ which is set to specialize in petrochemical development.
A German delegation was due to visit the area, while Turkish investors have shown keen interest in setting up a plant in the zone which is located just 22 kilometers from the Turkish border, according to Hossein Foruzan, managing director of the development zone.
“Petrochemical plans have investment priority in the zone and the infrastructure is inviting the investors too,” he told Iran's Shana news agency.
Foruzan pointed to the zone's close proximity to the border as well as the significant advantages of abundant water resources and substantial local feedstock supply attractive to foreign developers of the area.
Turkish companies have already promised investment of around $6 billion to construct a local petchems operation, he revealed. German firms have proposed spending twice that sum on projects in the sector.
Last year, Iran was gearing up to take advantage of new petrochemical export opportunities once sanctions were lifted. It was already in talks with European petchems and polymer distributors prior to raising its output, according to Iran's Association of Petrochemical Industry Corporations (AIPC).
Iran currently has 53 active petrochemical complexes with a total capacity of around 59 million metric tons per year ranging from polymers to other chemicals, aromatics and liquid petroleum gas. The operations are chiefly situated in special economic zones southern Iran close to the Persian Gulf.
Last year, Iran was reported to have identified $30 billion worth of investment opportunities across its petchems industry. In November, Iran's National Petrochemical Company (NPC) projects director Marzieh Shahedaee announced that Chinese investors would finance 18 petchem projects with lines of credit already opened for four projects in Sabalan, Lordegan, Bushehr and Masjed Soleiman, according to Shana.