What new developments is Iran LNG involved in?
KHAYRANDISH: Iran LNG is involved in Phase I of the ideas of Iran LNG. We are currently involved in the completion of two trains, each with a capacity of 5.4m tons per annum. Then we are going to make two additional trains, with the total capacity of 21.6 tons per annum in the future. Recently, we have come to the new phases of other plans for internal use of LNG in Iran regarding peak shaving and delivery of LNG to places far from the pipelines.
What are the best opportunities for investment in Iran’s energy sector?
KHAYRANDISH: Iran has many opportunities for investment. There are opportunities in upstream for gas and oil resources. There are also opportunities in mid-stream and downstream. In the mid-stream, we have refineries that we have to build, gas refineries, and LNG plants. For LNG plans, we have new projects that we have to implement. Most of these new projects belong to Iran LNG. If investors want, they can come and invest in these types of projects. From my side, I can give them the opportunity of receiving at least a 12% to 13% rate of return with a maximum of 19% return.
How would you describe the level of human resources available to Iran’s energy sector?
KHAYRANDISH: You know, Iran is the source of human resources for the region. We have millions of educated people who have graduated from universities. We have 100 years of oil industry experience. We will need a few engineers, but I do not think we will have human resources problem for the completion of our projects. But again, because of the simple rules in Iran, we do not have problems for importing of expatriates if needed.
What energy swap deals are currently in discussion?
KHAYRANDISH: It is very economical for us to work with the Russians and the former Soviet countries. I think we can work together very well. If we want to receive their oil or gas from the north, we can swap it and give them oil with the same formula in the south. We are ready to work to implement joint projects in Iran or outside of Iran and share the benefits of the cooperation.
At present who are your biggest export partners?
KHAYRANDISH: Our export partners are mostly Asian companies and Asian countries. We think that the Asian market is more pleasant for us to enter. Now the European countries’ GDP growth is low and their interest in buying LNG is not increasing that much. For the Asians, there is a different story. I think China is going to increase its demand for LNG every year by 5m tons. This means that by 2020, they will have to import 45m tons of LNG. Not the same, but just a little behind China is India. Traditionally, there is also Japan, as the biggest, and Korea, and recently Taiwan and some others are becoming major importers of LNG. In recent months, we have received some news that Indonesia and Malaysia, who are traditionally exporters of LNG, now want to buy LNG. So in this case, I think Asian countries are much more attractive for us than the Europeans.
For LNG plans, we have new projects that we have to implement. Most of these new projects belong to Iran LNG. If investors want, they can come and invest in these types of projects. From my side, I can give them the opportunity of receiving at least a 12% to 13% rate of return with a maximum of 19% return.
Specifically, how appealing is the Malaysian market for Iran LNG?
KHAYRANDISH: I think we can be a good partner for the Malaysian companies and Malaysian government, as well as other South East Asian countries. They can count on us as a good provider and exporter of LNG in the future. We want to work together and to build long partnerships for many years in the future.