Iran says it has achieved self-sufficiency in production of two strategic petrochemical products which are widely used in making a variety of industrial foams and related materials.
Managing Director of Karoun Petrochemical Complex Alireza Sediqizadeh was quoted by media as saying that the Complex was already producing methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI).
Sediqizadeh added that both products were so far only produced by global petrochemical giants such as Shell and BASF.
He emphasized that Karoun Petrochemical Complex had enabled Iran to challenge both companies in international markets, adding that the country had become the first in the region to produce MDI and TDI.
“The second phase of the Complex was brought on line over the past few weeks with a production capacity of 40,000 tons of MDI per year,” Sediqizadeh told Iran’s Mehr news agency.
He added that the product was widely in production of sponge and foam variations, specifically those used in production of auto parts, insulation and furniture.
The official further emphasized that the first phase of Karoun Complex development project envisaged the production of a similar volume of TDI. The product is used in manufacturing of polyurethane foams which are used in carpet, transpiration, and automobile industries.
The petrochemical industry is the biggest source of foreign earnings for Iran after oil. Last year, Iranian companies exported about $12.8 billion of petrochemical products.
Iran has significantly expanded the range and volume of its petrochemical products over the past few years. The country has become the second largest producer and exporter of petrochemicals in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia.
Iran currently produces 60 million tons of petrochemicals a year. This capacity will increase by 8.5 million tons by March 2017 when a number of new projects become operational.