Iran shifting to MTO/MTP units from standalone methanol plants

Source: ICIS News


SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Iran is shifting its focus from standalone methanol plants to methanol to olefins (MTO) and methanol to propylene (MTP) projects to help avoid creating a surplus of the material in the global market, a senior industry executive said.

Global methanol production stands at around 80m tonnes/year, according to the Methanol Institute.

By 2021 Iran is slated to have 15% of world’s global methanol production capacity, according to Iranian officials.
Currently 14 methanol projects are at various stages of planning and construction in Iran though some of them will have to add downstream projects.

Reza Ebadzadeh, CEO of SPI International Proprietary Ltd (SPII), said in an email interview that Iran was not going to issue new licenses to standalone methanol projects in Mokran.

“Iran even now is a big player in methanol. This policy helps to avoid creating a surplus in global methanol market,” Ebadzadeh said.

“Second, it encourages investors to go toward downstream projects to extend value chain of their products, which will result in higher profitability,” added Ebadzadeh, whose company is a subsidiary of SHASTAN, which owns nearly one quarter of petrochemical sector of Iran.

SHASTAN is the master developer of the Mokran Petrochemical Hub, as well as the owner of three plants plus utility (nine different packages) within the Mokran Area, while SPII is in charge of funding arrangement for SHASTAN’s mega projects.

The Mokran complex is projected to have a total production capacity of 25m tonnes/year, a considerable part of which will be exported and the rest kept for captive domestic downstream use, according to a previous Iranian government publication.

Ebadzadeh said as an investor the most important element for the company was profitability.

“Consequently, Mokran’s lay-out has been revised accordingly and there is no more stand-alone methanol plant in it.”

“It is believed that NPC won’t issue a new license for a stand-alone methanol any more. Owner of existing licenses are to choose either to extend their plants to downstream, or to sell it to others, including owners of MTO plants, even within the Mokran area,” he said.

Plant Location Projected Operation Date Volume
million tonnes/year
Kaveh Methanol Dayer, Bushehr 2017 2.31
Marjan Methanol Assaluyeh 2018 1.65
Sabalan Methanol Assaluyeh 2018 1.65
Bushehr Olefin and Methanol (16th Olefin) Assaluyeh 2019 1.65
Dena Methanol Assaluyeh - 1.65
Middle East Kimiya Pars Methanol Assaluyeh 2019 1.65
Siraf Methanol Dayer 2019 1.65
Veniran Apadana Methanol Assaluyeh - 1.65
Badr e Shargh Mokran 2020 1.65
Arman Methanol Assaluyeh - 1.65
Di Polymer Arian Methano Assaluyeh - 1.65
Fateh Kimia GTPP (Phase1) Dayer 2020 1.65
Methanol/Ammonia2 Assaluyeh - 1.29
Methanol/Ammonia1 Assaluyeh - 1.29

Interview article by Tahir Ikram