AN IRANI petrol giant wants to open a refinery in Spain and reveals that several companies have expressed an interest in investing in the project.
According to vice-minister for petroleum, Abbas Kazemi, the plant would process 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day and would be jointly financed by the Spanish private sector and by Teheran.
“Negotiations have not been finalised yet, but several Spanish firms have offered to build the refinery,” says Kazemi, who is also managing director of the National Irani Oil Refinery and Distribution Company (NIORDC).
Spanish sources in Teheran have backed the company MD's statement, but admit there have been no new developments since the idea was first launched in October – although this is the first the European public has heard of the move.
Kazemi announced back then that he wanted to invest in refineries abroad in order to drum up more clients for his crude oil, and adds that a plant in Spain would guarantee sales in the country since it would only process Irani petroleum.
“The safest way of increasing our exports is investing in plants overseas,” said the vice-minister, who brushed aside criticisms that the plans were 'too costly'.
As well as increasing petroleum sales, the high expenses would be earned back through the profits generated from the new plants, Kazemi insists.
NIORDC already signed agreements to open processing centres in Indonesia and Brazil last year, and is in talks with India and China to do the same, according to Latin American television channel HispanTV.
After signing the nuclear weapons pact in July and in light of the imminent lifting of international sanctions, Iran is exploring ways of increasing its presence in the oil market by targeting South American, European and Asian countries as sites for its refineries in order to guarantee income necessary for the country's economic recovery.