Bou Ali Sina Third Aromatics Project, Bandar Imam, Iran

Bou Ali Sina Petrochemical Company, a local subsidiary of Iran’s National Petrochemical Company (NPC) has completed construction of a world scale aromatics complex. The complex, which is known as the ‘third aromatic project’ produces 1.75 million t/yr of aromatics and by-products is located at the Petrochemical Special Economic Zone (Petzone) in Bandar Imam, Iran. The complex became fully operational during the middle of 2004.

Project Sponsors

Bou Ali Sina Petrochemical is a 100% owned subsidiary of NPC. The company is responsible for the construction of NPC’s third aromatics complex.


Output from the complex includes 400,000t/yr of paraxylene (PX), 30,000t/yr of orthoxylene (OX) and 180,000t/yr of benzene, as well as liquefied gas, raffinate, light ends, heavy ends, heavy aromatics and C5s, for a total capacity of just over 1.1 million t/yr.


The capital investment for the project comprised $290.3 million of foreign financing and Rials541,200 million of local money. Bou Ali Sina says that the rate of return on the investment is in the region of four years.


Feedstock for the third aromatic project includes light and heavy naphtha which are supplied via pipeline from Pazanan, Iran. Pyrolysis gasoline is sourced from NPC’s sixth and seventh olefins projects. These projects become fully operational during 2004 and are owned by NPC subsidiary Amir-Kabir Petrochemical Company.

Engineering Procurement and Construction

Engineering work on the project began in December 2000 and construction activities got under way in April 2001. The first phase of the project was completed in October 2003 and the plant become fully operational in August 2004.

Iran’s Pidec was awarded the contract to provide detailed engineering and procurement, while Germany-based Uhde (formerly known as Krupp-Uhde) provided basic engineering. Construction was handled by Iran’s Petro Pars; the company’s main activities are engineering, procurement and construction in the areas of offshore and onshore projects.

Civil Engineering

Civil engineering was carried out by Sazeh Khavar. Based in Iran the company is involved in civil, mechanical, electrical and instrument contracts. The contract ran for 12 months and required 2,810 man hours to complete.

Technology Licences

Technology for the third aromatics project was provided by a number of companies. France-based Institut Francais du Petrole (IFP) provided technology for xylene separation and isomerisation. IFP says that Iran ranks among its top clients.

China’s Sinopec signed an agreement to provide the aromatics project with transalkylation technology.

Instrument, Thermocouple and Fieldbus Cables

Germany-based Kerpen Industries was awarded a contract by Pidec to supply instrument, thermocouple and fieldbus cables for the aromatics project. The industrial division of Kerpen is said to be the largest privately owned cable manufacturer in Germany.

Pumpig Equipment

UK-based Weir Process Group was awarded a contract, valued at £9 million, to supply pumping equipment for the third aromatics project. The contract comprised API process pumps which were made by Begemann, at its plant in Venlo, The Netherlands. The Weir Process Group provided 148 end suction pumps, 38 in-between bearing pumps, 14 vertical long-shaft pumps, 14 small piston diaphragm pumps and spare parts.

Air coolers

Damafin, a subsidiary of Iran’s Idro was awarded a contract to supply air coolers for the third aromatic project. Damafin specialises in supplying air coolers and different types of finned tubes for various process industries.

Freigh Forwarding

Iran’s Pazand Tarabar was responsible for moving Bou Ali Sina’s petrochemical plant’s heavy pieces weighing over 150t. Pazand Tarabar is an international and local transportation company. Its main activities include freight forwarding, customs, brokerage, shipping and local transportation projects.

Safety Certification

Germanischer Lloyd was appointed by Pidec to provide safety inspection of Bou Ali Sina’s aromatics facility. Germanischer Lloyd’s activities included worldwide inspection of critical components and equipment.


The third aromatics complex is located in the Petrochemical Special Economic Zone (Petzone). The zone was established to provide quick and easy access to modern petrochemical technology, make optimal use of oil and gas resources, create added value in downstream industries and allow free trade of petrochemical products near active petrochemical plants.

The Petzone has a number of economic advantages including tax holidays and exemption from customs duties.

Source » chemicals-technology

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