By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Iran intends to become one of the largest exporters of gasoline in the region and in the world and has taken another important step to achieve this goal.
The opening ceremony of the third phase of the Bandar-Abbas gas condensate plant (also called the Persian Gulf Star Refinery) took place in Iran on February 18.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said that since 2013, the volume of gasoline production in Iran has more than doubled.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, he told that the current production capacity of Iran is 101 million liters of gasoline per day compared to 50 million liters per day in 2013.
The minister informed that 76 million liters of Euro-4 and Euro-5 gasoline were produced per day in the country, adding that the opening of the first three phases of this refinery led to a significant jump in gasoline production capacity in Iran.
“Today, contrary to what was a decade ago, when sanctions could be extended to import gasoline, we are no longer an importer of this product and can even become an exporter of gasoline, and the U.S. has no word to say anything about this”, said the official.
Zanganeh noted that Iran can export gasoline, but has not yet begun exporting to increase the internal reserves of this product.
He said that Euro-4 gasoline production in 2012 was 6 million liters per day, and now this figure equals 44 million liters.
The minister also stated that the basic permits were granted for processing two million barrels of oil per day and for distributing raw materials in the private sector for the new oil refineries’ construction and gas condensate refineries in Iran.
The construction of the Persian Gulf Star Refinery began in 2006 on 730 hectares of land 25 km from the southern city of Bandar Abbas.
The feedstock for the operation of the plant is provided by condensate produced at the South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf.
The plant is designed to produce 36 million liters of high-quality gasoline per day. The third phase added 12 million liters per day to the plant’s production capacity.
Although it was originally decided to develop the facility in three phases, the Director General of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC), Alireza Sadikabadi, announced plans to build the fourth phase of this mega project.
As soon as the project to expand production capacity and improve the quality of products will be launched, the quality of gasoline at the plant will improve dramatically.
The project includes a hydrogen block for gasoline, an energy generator, a nitrogen block, an acidic water block, an amine contactor, a light naphtha block, and 17 storage tanks that have all been put into operation.
When the project is launched, the production capacity of the gasoline processing plant will increase by 3 million liters per day, and 70 percent of its production will meet Euro-4 standards.
In addition, the commissioning of an installation for processing hydrogen oil for gasoline will add 15 million liters per day of Euro-4 gasoline to the daily production capacity of the plant, and the quality of gasoline at the refinery will be expected to meet Euro-4 standards by March 2019.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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