The Arya Sasol Polymer Company (ASPC) is primarily a polymer-producing company that has an excess of ethylene produced as feedstock for the process that we export. Arya Sasol's production assets are world class, and at the time of investment it had the latest in technology and consisted of an ethylene cracker and two polyethylene production plants. The original scope of the investment was to have included three polymer plants and one ethylene cracker, but the investment in the third polymer plant is yet to be approved, and as a result ASPC generates an excess of ethylene, which is currently exported. The original joint venture between the National Petrochemical Company (NPC) of Iran and Sasol of South Africa was formed in 2002. The investment decision was taken in 2003, and ethylene production started in 2007, followed by polyethylene soon after in 2008. There are some 800 permanent staff and a further 500 contractors working for Arya Sasol, making us a significant employer. There is a government initiative to maximize employment from local areas, which Arya Sasol supports fully.
Managing Director, Arya Sasol Polymer
Managing Director, LALEH
Compared to other big players, LALEH produces only about 300,000 tons of petrochemicals annually. All things considered, we have to admit we are at a lower level. LALEH's production is limited to low-density polyethylene, whereas the other big players produce high-density polyethylene, linear low-density polypropylene, and methanol. The company has a specialized market share and customer base. Our products meet the quality standards for Europe, China, and India. Licensing provides the necessary standards for our products and what we produce. We have a complete set of all of the necessary equipment in our labs, and we calibrate this equipment at regular intervals. On the other hand, our customers' feedback is also crucial. We are in the process of rebuilding our factory in order to improve our plant's quality and capacity. The production rate for the first year was 160,000 tons after recovery, then 250,000 in the second year, and 272,000 tons for the last year. The company's target is 300,000 tons capacity, which is what the plant was designed to handle.
M. H. Maghazei
Managing Director, Jam
We began operations at the plant while producing at about 43% of our installed capacity. Now we produce at about 50%. But, during this period, there were a few days when we had feedstock for our production and could produce at levels very close to our designed capacity. Our people are skilled and experienced enough to operate the plant at the installed capacity, which is 300,000 tons per year. We also have different grades of homopolymer, copolymer, and terpolymer. Since we started, we have produced different grades of polypropylene, but we started with general grades and only later began to produce special variants that are more difficult to produce, such as Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP), which is very sensitive to the production parameters of a plant. This means that the process must be kept under very careful watch. I am sure that many polypropylene (PP) producers in Iran are reluctant to produce the BOPP grade since we have the largest market share.
Ali Akbar Ahmadi Dashti
Managing Director, Razi
We want to be one of the main producers of urea, and we have built the foundations to achieve that status. At present, we are Iran's largest ammonia exporter. In addition, we can transform the ammonia product into urea. All of the fundamental infrastructure needed to do this in terms of electricity and water has been established. Since everything is already here, our next target is to install a 1 million-ton urea plant. This will be a big project for Razi, because it will almost double our production of urea. We plan to have this unit up and running in the next four years, and the investment will total more than €250 million or €300 million. Meanwhile, we are the only major producer of phosphate in Iran. To maintain our status in the market, we are going to establish a new facility to produce phosphate fertilizer. The main strategy is to produce fertilizer for domestic needs first and then for exports. Iran's location adjacent to the Persian Gulf means we have all the facilities necessary to export, and this is the main purpose behind our expansion plans.