Iran to Set Up Petrochemical Shipping Firm
Iran needs to establish a standalone shipping line to handle its petrochemical exports, the managing director of Iran's Petrochemical Commercial Company said.
"Petrochemical holdings should join forces to form a shipping company for petrochemicals," Mehdi Sharifi-Niknafs was also quoted as saying by NIPNA on Sunday.
"Last year, domestic companies paid $1.5 billion for the shipment of petrochemicals and polymers," he added.
That amounts to about 15% of Iran's revenue from petrochemical exports in the previous fiscal year that reached over $9.5 billion.
"It is imperative to set up a joint shipping company for petrochemicals to cut [shipping] costs," Sharifi-Niknafs said. Iran sells 30-35 million tons of petrochemicals, polymers, liquefied gas and condensates, a type of ultra light crude per year, according to the official.
Iran has two major shipping companies, the IRISL, which handles the transport of non-oil goods, as well the National Iranian Tanker Company that is responsible for the export of crude oil and condensates.
With crude prices trading well below their peak levels in three years, "it is high time to build or purchase new tankers for petrochemicals and liquefied gas," the PCC managing director added.
Iran's petrochemical production plans and the idea of creating a fleet of tankers specifically for petrochemical products make more sense.
The country hopes to lift nominal output capacity to 120 million tons per annum by 2022, the end of Iran's Sixth Five-Year Economic Development Plan, from around 60 million tons now.
It also comes as Iran is making efforts to diversify its petrochemical customers, with an increasing number of new markets, including Argentina, Peru and New Zealand, have recently begun taking in petrochemical consignments from Iran.