German industrial gases group Linde says it has revived plant-engineering contracts in Iran but cannot work on them due to banking problems that obstructed transferring money out of the country.
Linde – which was previously reported to be considering a major investment in Iran’s petrochemical industry – announced that it had to wait to find a way to transfer money out of the country before proceeding with its Iran investment plans.
"We have already signed engineering contracts to resuscitate projects from years ago but the banking system has to be fixed first before we can start performing on these contracts," Linde Chief Executive Office Aldo Belloni told analysts on a conference call on Thursday, as reported by Reuters.
In February 2016, the National Petrochemical Company of Iran announced that Linde and Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals were planning to invest $4 billion in Iran’s petrochemical industry.
The investments by the companies were expected to be made in Iran’s Assaluyeh energy zone.
Linde had announced earlier in 2015 that it was also planning to invest in Iran’s gas liquefaction projects in Iran.
Top executives from the company accompanied German Minister of Economy Sigmar Gabriel in his visit to Tehran last July to discuss investment and transfer of technology.
During the same visit, Linde opened its office in Iran’s capital Tehran after a hiatus of several years that was prompted as a result of US-led sanctions against foreign investments in Iran’s oil industry.
Iran’s petrochemical production will hit 70 million tons worth $27 billion at current prices in 2017.
The country seeks to more than double this capacity in the next decade, which requires between $7 billion to $10 billion of annual investment.