National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) aims to increase export volumes of cleaner diesel by 2017, as Tehran upgrades its refineries, Reuters reported.

Diesel exports from NIOC containing 500 parts-per-million (ppm) of sulfur will likely make up about half of its overall diesel shipments from early 2017, compared with about less than 10% of current exports, according to Iran Daily. The cleaner 500ppm sulfur diesel is used in the transport and industrial sectors in many Asian countries including Vietnam and Bangladesh.

Iran currently ships out about 500,000t of diesel with 1% sulfur, or 10,000ppm, which is mainly exported to the Middle East, with small volumes going to Singapore, Africa and the Mediterranean, and is mainly used for blending or as a feedstock in secondary refining units.

Earlier NIOC declared its intention to reduce gasoline imports and condensate exports once the first phase of its Gulf refinery starts up by end-March 2017.