Poland’s Ciech idles trade with Iran, awaits ‘if and when’ US sanctions are re-imposed

Source: ICIS News

2018/05/28

LONDON (ICIS)--Ciech will address the question of whether to continue importing polyolefins from sanction-hit Iran if and when another business opportunity presents itself, a spokesman for the Polish chemical producer said on Monday.

The group’s Ciech Trading subsidiary last September announced it was taking deliveries of Iranian polyolefins to be sold on European markets.

However, Ciech Group’s spokesman Miroslaw Kuk told ICIS that the current situation is that the company was not “importing or delivering” either polyolefins or any other product from Iran.

“If and when such plans are in effect, then we will proceed according to the binding international law, especially the regulations regarding cooperation with Iran,” he added.

On May 8, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the multilateral Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Any foreign companies still doing business with Iran, according to specific deadlines to be introduced over the next two to five months, could be hit by secondary sanctions.

The EU, which along with Russia and China is working with Iran to preserve the existing JCPOA, is attempting to devise practical ways to shield European companies from US secondary sanctions.

Ciech Trading’s business deal with Iran saw it import polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) products from three Tehran-based producers, namely Jam Petrochemical Company (JPC), Jam Polypropylene Company (JPPC) and Persian Gulf Petrochemial Industry Commercial Company (PGPICC).

Ciech Trading also has an agreement with the Egyptian Petrochemicals Company (EPC) to import and distribute its suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC).

On May 16, French energy major Total said it will have to pull out of its investments in sanctions-targeted Iran unless it is granted a project waiver by the US with the support of the French and European authorities.

Iran has estimated it needs towards $200bn of investment to revive its rundown oil, gas and petrochemicals sector over the next five years, with towards $40bn needed for the petrochemicals industry alone.