Press TV reported that talks have been held with Japanese and Korean firms to invest in Iran’s renovation and improvement of oil processing facilities, Abbas Kazemi, head of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company,  announced on Tuesday.

The Isfahan and Bandar Abbas refineries alone will get $1.2b, each to upgrade and enhance products.

Kazemi explained that Iranian refineries were producing too much fuel oil and the national priority now was to switch to higher-value products.

“As per the vision plan, fuel oil production has to reach 10%. This rate is currently at 28%,” he said.

As it stands, nine Iranian refineries process 1.8 m b/d of crude, with only one operating with an acceptable profit margin and the rest needing major upgrades.

According to Fars News Agency, Abbas Shari-Moqaddam, head of National Petrochemical Company (NPC), called on the country’s authorities and government bodies to close ranks to endorse and rejuvenate the industry.

“Iran’s economy is treading in the path of reducing its dependence on oil revenue, and the petrochemical industry, given the variety of items it can produce, can play a significant role in this regard by generating massive value-added for the country,” he explained.

Foreign investments were needed for a leap forward in this key sector, he added, with projects already underway in preparation for the post-sanction era.