Since Iran is a gas and oil superpower, it has an enormous potential in the plastics industry to be tapped.
Each year, the world produces about 130 million kilos of ethylene, the most important raw material for plastic. This gigantic industry is currently dependent on crude oil. Holding more than 11 percent of the world oil reserves, the equivalent of around 19 billion tons of oil or around 139 billion barrels, Iran is the world’s fourth energy-rich country.
For that reason, it would be advantageous for Iran to develop and expand its plastics industry, provided its petrochemicals industry can produce high-quality products to compete with the rest of the world.
The Iran Plast exhibition started on April 13 and brought together 500 local and 400 foreign companies. The foreign ones came from 25 countries, 13 of them European, including Germany, Italy and France. Only around half of that number came to Iran in the 2015 exhibition, at a time when Western sanctions were still very well in place.
Petrochemicals account for more than 30 percent of Iran’s non-oil exports now. Iran makes upwards of 20 billion dollars a year producing and selling petrochemical products. Unlike before, Iranian producers are now able to produce polymeric or plastic water pipes and have made and are still making good progress in this area. From March 2014 to March 2015 alone, Iranian companies made 50 billion dollars from exporting plastic or polymeric pipes. And they did it at a time when they’d been denied access to the world’s most technologically-advanced machines as a result of Western-imposed sanctions.
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