Vilified Siemens is Iran’s new darling
Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh hopes to open a “new chapter” in cooperation with Siemens as Europe’s biggest engineering conglomerate refreshes its indelible mark in the Iranian industry.
Once suspected of helping the US and Israelis sabotage Iran’s nuclear energy program, the trains-to-turbines German group is back to revive the lucrative business which it abandoned in the wake of Western sanctions on Tehran in 2012.
Siemens Chief Executive Joe Kaeser met Zangeneh in Tehran on Monday to work out details of an initial agreement which the company landed early last month to capitalize on trade with Iran.
The minister said Iran needed Siemens’s gas compressors and machinery to revive its ramped-up production bid which fizzled out after Western companies downed the tools under the sanctions regime.
Siemens blocked the delivery of gas turbines and compressors which Iran had bought to provision and service its oil and gas projects.
“The equipment was for South Pars phases, LNG (projects) and some of the Iranian refineries, the release of which has started after the annulment of sanctions,” Zangeneh said.
A Siemens official said earlier this month that “there are no legal restrictions anymore” for exports of machinery to Iran.
Siemens had been the main provider of gas turbines and compressors to Iran’s oil projects for decades, winning major contracts in the country.
In 2010, Siemens reportedly made over $967 million more than the previous year in Iran on the back of several contracts which included a $420 million deal to provide the country with 150 locomotives and also gas turbines and compressors.