Poland’s Ciech starts imports, sales of Iranian polyolefins

28 September 2017 16:33 Source:ICIS News

The South Pars gas field near the southern Iranian port of Assalouyeh, Iran. Source - Ahmad Halabisaz, REX, ShutterstockThe South Pars gas field near the southern Iranian port of Assalouyeh.
Source: Ahmad Halabisaz/REX/Shutterstock

LONDON (ICIS)--Poland’s CIECH Group said on Thursday it has started importing and selling Iranian polyolefins.

Through the company’s Ciech Trading subsidiary, polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) products would be sourced from three Tehran-based producers, namely Jam Petrochemical Company (JPC), Jam Polypropylene Company (JPPC) and Persian Gulf Petrochemial Industry Commercial Company (PGPICC).

"Our strategy is to create a global chemical concern as part of Ciech Group. New trading contacts in the Middle East are translating into an expansion of Ciech Trading’s offer [and] we want the distribution of high-quality plastics on the European market to be a hallmark of Ciech Trading,” said Artur Osuchowski, a management board member at Ciech.

Ciech Trading said it could now offer around 200 types of plastics, with products not only for the packaging industry but also for the automotive, agriculture, construction and electronics industries.

“We have the very first good references from European customers who bought our polyolefins from Iran," said Urszula Ros, sales director at Ciech Trading.

By moving into the distribution of polyolefins in Europe, Ciech Group has become a competitor to state-controlled Polish oil, gas and petrochemicals group PKN Orlen and Orlen’s Czech subsidiary, Unipetrol.

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

In May, AmanpourConsult, based in Germany, forecast that Iran may be on course to approximately expand its current petrochemical production of around 60m tonnes/year by up to 50% by 2020.

The country has access to huge reserves of cheap feedstock given that it has the world’s second highest gas reserves and fourth highest oil reserves.

Since the signing of the 2015 nuclear deal with six major powers, and the consequent lifting of economic sanctions, Iran has regained access to international oil, gas and petrochemical markets.

However, there are anxieties that the US’ Donald Trump Administration could attempt to end its participation in the deal from mid-October, potentially causing the agreement to unravel.

All the other major powers, meanwhile, remain committed to maintaining the deal, saying that Tehran is complying with its terms and conditions, drawn up to guarantee the Iranians will not move towards the development of a nuclear weapon.

By Will Conroy