Iran has its sights set on resuming economic ties, especially in energy sector, with his number one European partner Germany after an increase in good imports.
Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh will visit Germany on May 7th after a large German economic delegation of more than 100 businessmen arrived in Tehran in late April to spur bilateral ties.
Germany has increased good exports to Iran by 30 percent in 2014 to $2.4 billion due to easing sanctions since Novermber 2013, when Iran and P5+1 (US, UK, France, Russia, China+German) reached an interim nucelar deal. But, Iran-Germany trade is still below pre-sanction levels. However, in the light of current nuclear negotiations aimed to reach a comprehensive deal by 30 June and pave the way for elimination of the sanctions, Iran and Germany want to take the lead in resuming economic ties.
According to the Mehr News Agency, Zanganeh will discuss the 'Iran LNG' project with Germany's Linde AG during his visit. Talks are aimed at finding a way to supply the project with equipment, which had been banned after EU imposed sanctions against the Iranian oil industry. Linde refused to supply needed equipment for Iran's giant LNG project in 2010.
Iran's Oil Minister also will talk oil and gas projects with Siemens and Lurgi, two companies that were active in Iran before the sanctions.
A glance at Iran's LNG projects
In the fourth 5-Year National Develop Plan (2005-2009), Iran had aimed to produce 70 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the South Pars, North Pars, Ferdosi and Golshan gas fields by launching six LNG production facilities.
After cancelling Iran's LNG project contracts with French Total, Spanish Repsol, Dutch-British Shell and Malaysian Petronas until 2008, Iran practically lost almost all opportunities in LNG industry.
After that in 2008, Iran signed a contract worth $25 billion to develop its gas fields and produce LNG with the Chinese SINOPEC group, Chinese CEPA, Polish state-owned gas company (PGNiG) and Malaysian Petrofield LNG Co.
The value of Iran's contracts with PGNiG and Petrofield were respectively about $2 billion and $14-16 billion.
Iran also had a contract with Linde AG to build a giant LNG plant, but Linde refused to supply needed equipments due to sanctions.
All of projects were canceled until 2012, even those which Iran signed with Chinese companies.
Resuming LNG projects
Mehr News Agency reported that Linde AG had received funds to manufacture the equipment however international sanctions have hindered the company's ability to deliver equipment to Iran.
The capital investment needed for the Iran LNG plant was estimated at $5 billion and the facility would start its early production if half that sum were provided.
This plant's capacity is projected to be 10.5 million metric tons per year of LNG production, earning the country more than $7 billion annually, according to the report.
Iran LNG Company (ILC) filed a lawsuit with an international tribunal against EU in March 2014 for its ban on selling LNG plant equipments to Iran.
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