UpdateUS advocacy group calls on Sasol to cease business in Iran

04 January 2013 10:40  [Source: ICIS news]

(adds Sasol comment in paragraphs 8-10)

LONDON (ICIS)--United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is urging South African company Sasol to divest its stake in a polyethylene (PE) joint venture in Iran, the US advocacy group said late on Thursday.

Sasol operates two PE plants through the Arlya Sasol Polymer Co (ASPC), a joint venture with Iran’s state-owned National Petrochemical Co (NPC).

In November 2011, Sasol said it had entered into discussions to potentially divest its stake in Arya Sasol Polymers.

However, UANI said it was concerned about recent Iranian media reporting that the company does not plan to leave the country at all.

Sasol wants to expand its business operations in the US, and UANI said doing business in both countries is a conflict.

According to UANI, Sasol has said it has taken active steps to reduce and eventually cease all of its business in Iran, but divesting its interest in ASPC is more complicated that expected.

UANI criticised Sasol for not committing to a fixed date to cease activities in Iran.

Contacted on Friday, Sasol disputed the original Iranian media report that it is no longer seeking to divest its ASPC stake, although a company spokesman declined to set out a timeline for a sale.

He said: “We continue to engage with a number of interested parties who include business and government stakeholders.

“The plant produces integrated ethylene and polyethylene products for export. The products are not used in the development of petroleum or natural gas resources or nuclear power in Iran,” he added.

Additional reporting by Tracy Dang

By: Tom Brown
+44 208 652 3214

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