By Nigar Abbasova
The Islamic Republic of Iran intends to abandon foreign gasoline imports for the first time in almost 36 years.
CEO of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) Abbas Kazemi told Shana agency that the country may put an end to gasoline imports in 2017, adding that the import of the strategically important product will be ceased given the oil refining projects, currently implemented in the country.
The official said that the volume of import amounted to some 10-12 million liters per day in early 2016, but the country has managed to reduce the figure to some 4.5-5 million liters per day. He mentioned that the 2017 budget does not envisage spending on gasoline imports.
The intention of the country to revitalize its refining sector and complete a long-planned program to increase crude oil and condensate refining capacities came in the wake of sanctions relief.
Oil refining expansion strategy pursued in the country is expected to allow Iran to fully cover domestic gasoline demand with its own production.
The country is estimated to spend some $14 billion in rehabilitation, modernization, and expansion projects at existing refineries, while downstream program of the country involves the construction of new refineries.
Kazemi said that the country will commission 2 new refineries (Bandar Abbas and Lavan) by late March. Additionally, the first phase of the Persian Gulf Star Refinery, which has the capacity of 36 mld, will also be put into operation soon. When the first phase of the refinery is operational, the plant will produce 12 mld of Euro-4 standard gasoline, while the second and the third stages will increase the capacity up to 26 and 36 mld per day respectively.
Nine refineries are currently operating within the country, while Iran’s daily gasoline consumption is about 70 million liters.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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