23 January 2012 17:46 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The EU outlawed petrochemical imports from Iran on Monday as well as the export of equipment and technology for the sector.
The further sanctions against Iran’s petrochemical industry were made as concerns grow over its nuclear programme and alongside the EU’s ban on imports of Iranian crude oil and petroleum products.
“New investment in petrochemical companies in Iran as well as joint ventures with such enterprises are also no more allowed,” the EU added in a statement from its Council of Ministers.
The broadened sanctions on crude oil and petroleum products prohibit the “import, purchase and transport of such products as well as related finance and insurance. Already-concluded contracts can still be executed until 1 July 2012. A review of the measures relating to oil and petroleum products will take place before 1 May 2012,” it said.
Assets of the Iranian central bank in the EU were also frozen and trade in gold, precious metals, diamonds and the delivery of Iranian banknotes and coinage to the Iranian central bank was banned.
The extended sanctions against Iran’s petrochemical industry are expected to have an impact over time although Iran has said that trade with parties that have access to EU markets will continue.
Over the longer term, the most damaging impact is expected to be on procurement and maintenance across the sector in Iran.
Petrochemical industry players have suggested that restrictions on the supply of equipment and technology will delay polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) construction projects in Iran, pushing back start-up dates.
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