Iran has won an international tender to design and build four refinery units in a foreign country, although international sanctions against the Islamic Republic’s oil sector are still in place.
According to Iranian media, by winning the bid, Iran will officially start building oil refinery units on an international level for the first time in its history.
Oil industry experts have noted that building refineries in other countries is a sure way to guarantee sale of Iranian crude oil and has been frequently emphasized by high-ranking officials of Ministry of Petroleum.
The country has been in negotiations with some countries in Africa and Southeast Asia during past months in order to build refineries there. Following successful negotiations, the Islamic Republic took part in an international bid and won it after beating powerful rivals.
Meanwhile, Mansour Bazmi, an official at the Research Institute of Petroleum Industry (RIPI), was quoted by Ministry of Petroleum’s SHANA news agency as saying that RIPI took part in the international tender as licensor last year.
He added that the tender was held on design of four licensed refinery units in a foreign country and RIPI won the tender.
Mansour Bazmi, an official at Iranian Ministry of Petroleum’s Research Institute of Petroleum Industry ©SHANA
The official said RIPI is currently in the process of concluding the contract for this project, adding that the contract will include construction of gasoline production refinery units to process naphtha and boost octane rating of gasoline.
Bazmi stated that the contract also involves construction of a visbreaker unit and another unit for processing gas oil all under RIPI’s license.
He expressed hope that the contract would allow RIPI to export technical know-how for building refineries for the first time in its history.
Sanctions were imposed on Iran at the beginning of 2012 by the US and European Union (EU) claiming that there is a military aspect to Iran’s peaceful nuclear program; an allegation Iran categorically rejected.
The Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries – the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China – reached an interim agreement on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in the Swiss city of Geneva last November, which was followed by a statement of mutual understanding on April 2 in the Swiss city of Lausanne. The Lausanne statement is considered a prelude to the achievement of a comprehensive deal before a self-designated deadline at the end of June. A key point of Lausanne statement was a promise to lift a series of economic sanctions on Iran – including those on the country’s oil industry.