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Iran Unmoved by Losing Race in Basell Purchase
Iran’s petrochemical industries have registered remarkable progress in recent years. The Islamic Republic has become a leading exporter of petrochemicals in the world and does not cease to gain footholds in European and Latin American markets. The state-run National Petrochemical Company bid for purchase of the world’s top producer of the plastic propylene Basell whose owners Royal Dutch/Shell and German chemicals group BASF agreed to sell it 50/50 joint venture for 4.4 billion euros ($5.70 billion), including debt – doubtlessly under growing US pressure. However, Iran’s decision-makers continue to cooperate with Basell in the light of national interests. Iran had made it clear that intense U.S. pressure had scuppered the possible acquisition of Basell by NPC – favored to buy Basell. Polypropylene is used in a range of applications from car dashboards to packaging. Basell has operations around the world, selling products to a wide range of industries in 120 countries. Iran’s petrochemical developments have raised eyebrows in the world. Along with Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Republic is a big methanol producer. Iran’s petrochemical exports hit 1.7 billion dollars last year thanks to correct policies adopted by relevant authorities. Mohammed Reza Nematzadeh, the president of National Petrochemical of Iran, blamed American lobbyists who want to keep up pressure on Iran to drop its nuclear program. "Although NPC won all aspects of the Basell tender, due to US pressures we are unofficially told Iran cannot buy Basell," Mr Nematzadeh said at the time. "The enemy has always inflicted harm on us and this time the United States deprived us of the benefit of buying Basell," he added. Notwithstanding this failure, Iran has pressed ahead with improving its petrochemical sector. NPC has received proposal for cooperation from Southeast Asia in the past couple of months. Now Shell is offering to develop Iran’s Yadavaran Oil Field. Minister of Petroleum Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said: “Iran will make decision in compliance with the national interests to cooperate with Shell.” He, however, said: “We should not commit suicide to defend our interests. We should not fight with the entire world. We have to maximize our interests.”
 
Date: 2005-05-24 | Viewed: 1653

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