History of Iran’s National Petrochemical Company

The history of petrochemical industry in Iran dates back to over 50 years ago. In the late 1950s, the Economy Ministry of the time established a chemical institution to promote the petrochemical industry in the country. Following that, Marvdasht fertilizer facility was built in 1958 in the southern Province of Fars. Since the development of petrochemical industry needed more professional activities in line with the expansion of the country’s oil and gas industries, the establishment of an organization for leading the development of petrochemical industry seemed unavoidable. Therefore, the National Petrochemical Company (NPC) was established in 1964. The state-owned company conducted all activities related to the expansion of petrochemical industry under the leadership of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).  

Development and Evolution of Petrochemical Industry 

The development and evolution of petrochemical industry in Iran includes 5 stages

1. Genesis 

Iran’s National Petrochemical Company (NPC) was established in 1964, followed by the foundation of Shiraz fertilizer plant in 1963.

2. Initial Development Stage

Several petrochemical plants including Razi, Abadan, Pazargad, Ahvaz Carbon (Iran), Kharg, Farabi and Bandar Imam were constructed. Shiraz expansion projects were also launched in this period. (1964-1967, 1968-1972, 1973-1977)

3. Recession Stage

Production reached a minimum after Iraq invaded Iran in 1980. The construction of Bandar Imam Petrochemical Complex came to a halt, but work continued on projects such as Shiraz Petrochemical expansion.

4. Reconstruction Stage

Several projects,defined under the first and second five-year development plans, were put into operation including Isfahan ,Arak and Bandar Imam petrochemical complexes ,increasing the production output to 12 million t/y at the end of the second five-year development plan.

5. Expansion and Stabilization Stage

This stage, which included the 3rd, 4th and 5th five-year development plans turned Iran’s petrochemical industry into a global force. The amount of production and its product value rapidly increased and it gained a larger share in Iran’s GDP and its non-oil exports. The status of Iran’s petrochemical industry was also relatively enhanced on both regional and global levels.

Iran’s National Petrochemical Company has done its utmost to obtain a higher status and establish a more effective presence in the region and worldwide through making a maximum use of the advantages offered by the country.

The NPC’s strong presence is manifested in the improvement of indices and economic factors such as production levels, export levels, investment, creation of added value, contribution to the national GDP, regional cooperation levels and expansion of its target markets. At the end of 2013, NPC’s output capacity and production level hit 60 million tons and 41 million tons respectively, while the share of petrochemical industry in the export of national non-oil and industrial products reached 5.31% and 4.39% respectively.