A view of a section of Iran’s South Pars gas field. AFP file photo.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iran began work Monday on its largest refinery, capable of processing about a half-million barrels per day (bpd) of condensate into petroleum products for export to Asia.
State-run Press TV reported that Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the Siraf refinery in Bushehr province. It said the $2.8 billion investment for the project came from the private sector.
“For the next eight months, work will include basic design and construction of joint processing, utility and back-up units after which building of refineries will start,” Press TV reported on its English-language website.
“The refinery will include eight processing units, each with a capacity to turn 60,000 barrels per day of condensate -- a light oil extracted with gas -- into better value-added products,” it said.
The plant will also produce 140,000 barrels of diesel fuel, 30,000 barrels of liquefied petroleum gas and 40,000 barrels of kerosene, the network added.
It said Iran wants to take advantage of growing demand in Asia for naphta, and that it expects to raise condensate production to 1 million bpdin the next few years.
The new refinery is located in Asaluyeh, near the massive offshore South Pars gas field that Iran shares with Qatar.
“Pressed by sanctions, Iran is diversifying beyond oil and opting for better value-added products,” Press TV said.
Iran sits on the second-largest proven deposits of natural gas after Russia, amounting to 18 percent of total global reserves, the network said.