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World's largest methanol plant in Iran

The first phase of a methanol production plant that could become the world's biggest after completion was inaugurated here Friday by interior ministry and other provincial officials.

The plant has a budget of 167 million euros.

The plant in its next stages will produce ammonia (nh3) gas and urea from methanol which are used to produce energy, glass and chemical substances.

Raw materials for the plant will be procured from south Pars gas field. All products of the plant will be exported to foreign countries through a port that is to be built exclusively for the plant's exports.

The managing director of Kaveh industrial group, which partly funds the project in collaboration with Tejarat bank, said during the inaugural ceremony that the plant is expected to generate huge a huge income.

The construction phase of the project is expected to be completed in three years.

Bushehr governor-general Esmael Tabadar, who also attended the inaugural ceremony, said that the project is one of the private sector's largest in terms of investment.

The plant has a great potential for production in view of the fact that Assalouyeh has 21 billion cubic meters of proven gas reserves.

He further said that Assalouyeh, which has 70 percent of the country's gas reserves, has a very high potential for investment and can guarantee a huge income for the country, particularly for the people of Bushehr.

The plant, which is being built in Dayyer, 5 kilometers south of the provincial capital, could be the world's biggest after completion and the country's biggest in terms of investment.

Once operational, it is expected to create some 15,000 job opportunities.

An exclusive port will be constructed a few kilometers from the plant to handle exports of its products.

Methanol is a clear, colorless and volatile chemical with a mild odor sweeter than ethanol. It is used in the industrial production of many synthetic organic compounds and is a constituent of many commercially available solvents.

The world's largest methanol production plant is at present located in one of the countries in South America. It is capable of producing 5,000 tons per day.

Editorial Notes: Some commentators have suggested the main impact of facility (when completed) will be to render the few remaining fertiliser plants in Western nations completely uneconomic. -LJ

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