Iran Plans Privatization of Oil Refineries

August 30, 2011
Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, is due to implement a major economic plan to privatize its oil refineries in line with its privatization scheme.

Managing-Director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) Alireza Zeiqami announced that seven of the country's nine oil refineries will be ceded to the private sector by the end of the current Iranian year (March 2012).

"National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company and its subsidiaries will become privatized. At least 11 companies and refineries will cede their shares to the private sector later this year," he stated.

Zeiqami added that Isfahan, Bandar Abbas, Tabriz, Shiraz, Kermanshah, Lavan, and Tehran (Shahid Tondgouyan) oil refineries will be transferred to the private sector but the ownership of Abadan and Arak (Imam Khomeini) oil refineries will remain in government control.

Zeiqami, who is also deputy oil minister, said that domestic and foreign investors can purchase the shares of the refineries through the Privatization Organization of Iran.

Article 44 of the Iranian Constitution stipulates that the country's economic system shall be based on public, cooperative and private sectors.

All large-scale industries, mother industries, foreign trade, large mines, banking, insurance, power supply, dams and large irrigation channels, radio and television, post, telegraph and telephone, aviation, shipping, roads, rails, refineries and the like are public property and under the guidance of the government.

A 2004 amendment to the Article, however, has set in motion a ten-year plan to privatize eighty percent of Iran's state-owned assets.

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