Iran set to privatise all refineries
Tehran, April 11, 2010
Iran plans to privatise all its refineries and petrochemical units, Oil Minister Massoud Mirkazemi was quoted as saying.
It is seeking to speed up the sale of state assets to encourage private investment and boost the economy, which is under US and UN sanctions over its disputed nuclear programme, according to a report in our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News (GDN).
'The work on ceding (ownership of) oil companies has begun and based on plans, all petrochemical units and refineries will be ceded, including service, drilling and support companies,' Mirkazemi said.
Earlier, state Press TV said Iran had transferred shares in six petrochemical plants and power stations to a social welfare investment organisation of its armed forces, instead of debt payment.
In April, a senior privatisation official said Iran aimed to raise about $12.5 billion by privatising more than 500 firms, including two refineries and two car makers, during 2010-11. Western firms are increasingly wary of investing in Iran due to the long-running nuclear row, and analysts say some companies put up for sale may end up being transferred within the public sector.
Last year, a consortium linked to Revolutionary Guards took a 51 per cent stake in the Telecommunications Company of Iran valued at around $7.8 billion.