09/17/2016, 09.32
IRAN - CHINA - RUSSIA

Tehran signs billion dollar energy agreements with China and Russia

The Iranian Oil Ministry and the Chinese giant Sinopec will collaborate in the modernization of the Abadan refinery to the tune of 1.2 billion dollars. Together with Moscow two nuclear power plants planned for the Persian Gulf coast. Experts speak of great long term economic and environmental benefits from projects.

Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Iranian Oil Ministry and the Chinese petrochemical giant Sinopec have reached an agreement for the development of the largest oil refinery in the country. The construction of the mega-plant in Abadan, costing $ 1.2 billion, will begin soon.

At the same time the leaders of the Islamic Republic are seeking Russia’s help for the construction of two nuclear power plants, further strengthening  relations between Tehran and Moscow, already joined in the fight against terrorism.

Relations between Iran and the West are still distant despite the partial lifting of economic sanctions in exchange for agreement on the controversial atomic program. The United States has maintained a set of sanctions and blocked the use of the dollar bloc in banking transactions; a decision that has also affected European policy.

Despite the growth in trade cooperation between Iran and the EU, with a 43% increase in the first half of 2016, Tehran seems to be focusing on the Latin American market and that of the East (China and Russia) to revive its economy.

According to reports from Abbas Kazemi, Iranian Deputy Oil Minister, the development of the Abadan refinery will improve "the production process". The Chinese oil giant Sinopec will be in charge of developing the first phase of the project, to boost the production capacity of "petrol and diesel according to the Euro4 standards”.

There are ongoing meetings with the heads of the Chinese Central Bank to open a credit line; work should begin in November and December (in the ninth month of the Iranian Azar lunar calendar).

It will take at least four years overall to complete the entire structure and its production system. Iran is firm in its intention to pursue the goal of increasing diesel exports – the latest generation and far cleaner - in the coming years. Hence the green light to renovation of many of the most important production systems.

In addition to fossil fuels, Tehran has confirmed its interest in the development of atomic energy for civilian purposes and is pointing on the collaboration of Moscow for the construction of two new nuclear power plants. The power plants will be built on the shores of the Persian Gulf, with the contribution of Russian atomic giant Rosatom.

The proposed $ 10 billion project which Moscow, but above all Tehran, has been planning for a long time has been given the go ahead following the nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers in July last year. Experts say nuclear power will be of great benefit to the country in the long term both economically and environmentally.

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