South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering Co said on Monday that it had signed a deal worth US$3.2 billion with Iran’s Ahdaf Investment Company for the construction of the second phase of a petrochemical complex in Iran.
“The project allowed us to spearhead into the Iranian construction market as a lead manager. We plan to do everything in our capacity to clinch additional projects in the future,” a spokesperson for Hyundai told The Korea Herald, which noted that the deal is the largest so far signed by a South Korean company in Iran.
Hyundai Engineering will act as lead manager of the Kangan Petro Refining Complex in southwestern Iran. The petrochemical complex is planned to have an annual production of around 1 million tons of ethylene, 500,000 tons of monoethylene glycol, and 350,000 tons of heavy and light polyethylene, The Korea Herald reported.
The financing of the deal – which was signed as an Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Finance (EPCF) contract -- will be finalized within nine months by Korean banks, the Iranian oil ministry’s news service Shana said on Sunday. Construction will take 48 months, according to the Iranian news service.
The nine-month period to obtain financing could be a potential obstacle to the South Korean company due to the reluctance of banks to do business that has ties to Iran, AFP comments.
A total of 85 percent of the funding is expected to come from Korean banks, including Export-Import Bank of Korea and the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation, a spokesman for Hyundai Engineering told AFP.
Related: Oil Steadies Itself Ahead Of Big Week
Although Iran is trying to lure international investors back to its vast oil and gas fields and published in January a list of 29 foreign companies that had qualified for bidding in its oil and gas tenders, firms are still cautious in dealings with Iran. France’s Total SA -- the first major that returned to signing deals with the Islamic Republic -- has said that it is waiting for an extension of the waiver on U.S. sanctions against Iran before it makes the final decision on a US$2.2-billion investment in a gas project.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.