Iran to Build Petrochemical Plants in Malaysia

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran has inked a contract to build a refinery-petrochemical complex in Malaysia.

The contract was signed last Tuesday in Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur between Iran’s Hampa Engineering Corporation and a Malaysian firm.

The refinery-petrochemical complex, which will manufacture gas-oil, gasoline, jet fuel, liquefied natural gas(LNG) and petrochemical raw materials, will be constructed in the Malaysian state of Terengganu over a period of six years and will reportedly cost more than 6 billion US dollars.

Malaysia, on the other hand, will invest 5 to 6 billion dollars in Iran’s gas fields according to the cooperation Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) that the two sides signed in Tehran on Monday.

Iran, which holds estimated recoverable oil reserves of 138 billion barrels and produces oil of some 4.2 million barrel per day(bpd), is eager to export the long-dealt-with know-how on oil industry.

Iran, which sits on the world’s second largest reserves of both oil and gas, is facing US sanctions over its civilian nuclear program.

Iranian officials have dismissed US sanctions as inefficient, saying that they are finding Asian partners instead. Several Chinese and other Asian firms are negotiating or signing up to oil and gas deals.

Following US pressures on companies to stop business with Tehran, many western companies decided to do a balancing act. They tried to maintain their presence in Iran, which is rich in oil and gas, but not getting into big deals that could endanger their interests in the US.

Yet, after oil giants in the West witnessed that their absence in big deals has provided Chinese, Indian and Russian companies with excellent opportunities to signing up to an increasing number of energy projects and earn billions of dollars, many western firms are slowly losing reluctance to invest or expand work in Iran.

Some European countries have also recently voiced interest in investment in Iran’s energy sector after a gas deal was signed between Iran and Switzerland regardless of US sanctions.

The National Iranian Gas Export Company and Switzerland’s Elektrizitaetsgesellschaft Laufenburg signed a 25-year deal in March for the delivery of 5.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

The biggest recent deal, worth €100m ($147m, £80m), was signed by Steiner Prematechnik Gastec, the German engineering company, this year to build equipment for three gas conversion plants in Iran.

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