1130 GMT January 22, 2018
Iran's petrochemical sector is required to attract between $55 billion and $60 billion in investment to be able to achieve the targets stipulated in the Sixth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2017-21).
The absence of a clear vision for feedstock price is among the main obstacles to the development of the petrochemical industry, added Ahmad Mahdavi, the secretary general of Iran's Association of Petrochemical Industry Corporation, IRNA reported.
He put Iran's proven crude oil and natural gas reserves at 365 billion barrels, noting that such enormous resources are the greatest benefits offered by the Iranian petrochemical industry to investors to participate in its development projects.
Mahdavi underlined that in the long-term, global demand for oil and gas will decline while fossil fuels will be replaced by renewable energies.
"Thus, we are required to enhance and accelerate the development of [domestic] petrochemical industry."
Turning to the benefits of the petrochemical industry for the domestic economy, Mahdavi recalled, "At the time of [tough Western] sanctions, the revenue generated by exporting petrochemicals helped regulate the country's foreign currency market."
Regretting the slow pace of the development of the domestic petrochemical industry, he said the other major impediment to the development of this industry is the absence of a regulatory body in the country.
Mahdavi said over the past century, some $45 billion were invested in Iran's petrochemical industry.
He noted that the Persian Gulf littoral states have drawn up plans to attract $300 billion in investment to stimulate their petrochemical industries by 2025.