National Iranian Petrochemical Company
The National Iranian Petrochemical Company (NIPC) was established in 1963 and is a subsidiary of the Ministry of Petroleum responsible for the development and operation of the country's petrochemical sector. The NIPC's major activities include production, sale, distribution and export of chemicals and petrochemicals. As of 2011 the NIPC operated as a mother company of 56 subsidiaries, including 9 production complexes and 18 project implementing companies, for which it handles policy-making and oversight activities. The managing director of the NIPC as of January 2012 was Abdolhossein Bayat.
Through the NIPC, Iran produces petrochemical products that are exported to over 60 countries; the value of Iran's petrochemical exports in Iranian calendar year 1390 (from March 2011 to March 2012) was expected to reach $14 billion by March 2012, according to NIPC Managing Director Abdolhossein Bayat. The country exported 18 million tonnes of petrochemical products, worth $11.6 billion, from March 2010 to March 2011, a 26% increase compared to the previous year.
The NIPC began its activities in 1963 by operating a small fertiliser plant in Shiraz, southern Iran; by 2008 the company had grown to help Iran become the second-largest producer and exporter of petrochemical products in the Middle East, after Saudi Arabia. Three special economic zones (SEZ) dedicated to the petrochemical industry, conceived for goods transit and improving supply and distribution networks, were developed in the late 1990s and 2000s. Two of these, at Mahshar and Bandare Imam, are located in the southwest, with another located at Bushehr in the south.
The NIPC's products include chemicals, fertilisers, polymers, aromatics, fuel and hydrocarbons. The company markets and exports its products through its subsidiary the Petrochemical Commercial Company, and conducts research through the affiliated Petrochemical Research and Technology Company.
Impact of Sanctions
As of late 2011, the international sanctions regime had exacted a significant toll Iran's petrochemicals sector. Sanctions had been largely responsible for slowing investment and mounting technical, equipment and feedstock problems, exacerbated by growing labour disputes within the industry, according to Business Monitor International (BMI). Iran's petrochemical industry was operating at 85% of capacity in the fourth quarter of 2011. According to BMI, feedstock shortages have been the result of a lack of progress in upstream developments, technological failures and defective equipment.
The NIPC was listed by the British government in 2008 as an entity of potential concern for WMD (weapon of mass destruction)-related procurement; it was listed by the Japanese government in 2007 as an entity of concern for proliferation relating to nuclear and chemical weapons.
NIPC website: nipc.net/indexen.php
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