ASSALUYEH, Iran—Sadaf Petrochemicals Co. has broken ground on an emulsion styrene butadiene rubber (ESBR) production plant to make five grades of rubber—some of them specifically for tires.
According to the head of Sadaf Petrochemicals Co., Ahmad Jazayeri, the $289 million project will be completed in 29 months and will be an environmentally-friendly ESBR production unit with high standards in the region.
Speaking to Iran's petrochemicals news agency Nipna, Jazayeri said Italy's Versalis has licensed technology for the project with another Italian company, Maire Tecnimont S.p.A., providing front-end design and engineering.
However, a spokesperson from Versalis dismissed the report.
“Versalis, Italian Eni's chemical company, states that the news regarding its direct present involvement in investment and technology transfer in Iran is not founded,” the spokesperson told European Rubber Journal, a sister publication of Rubber & Plastics News.
Versalis said, however, it had signed some license contracts with Iranian counterparts in the period before sanctions came into force.
“From that moment on, Versalis has been acting in full compliance with the applicable sanctions: as a consequence, the implementation of existing contracts was suspended,” the company statement added.
The company said it would consider any potential new activity in Iran only after sanctions are lifted.
Tecnimont has not responded to questions about the reports.
The Sadaf petrochemical project is fully financed by Iranian stakeholders and the construction will be carried out by the Iranian Petrochemical Industries Construction Co.
The plant will produce five grades of dry and oily rubber, two of which will be used in the tire industry and three in plastics, according to Jazayeri.
Jazayeri added that the plant will produce 136,000 tons of ESBR annually and will have the capability to change grades and adapt to downstream demands where necessary.
As for feedstock, Pars and Jam petrochemical plants will supply 26,000 tons of styrene; 84,000 tons of butadiene; and 25,000 tons of aromatic oils to the project together.
Jazayeri said he expected China to be a major export market for Sadaf Petrochemicals, with a demand of 1.5 million tons a year.
The company expects to export around 50,000 tons of ESBR per year.