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China May Invest in Iran LNG Plant Construction, Official Says

Updated: 2011-10-26 10:52

Iran is in talks with a Chinese group that may finance construction of a liquefied natural gas plant in the port town of Assaluyeh, state-run Press TV reported, citing the head of the nation's maiden LNG project.

Ali Kheir-Andish, managing director of Iran Liquefied Natural Gas Co., didn't name the investors or give cost details in the report published today on the news channel's website.

Iran, the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is pushing to develop its LNG industry in addition to crude oil exports, Mohsen Qamsari, head of international affairs at the state-owned National Iranian Oil Co. said in a separate Press TV report. The nation seeks a share of the Indian and Chinese markets, which account for some 45 percent of the world's LNG consumption, Qamsari said.

Plans to export LNG have been delayed by international sanctions against the Persian Gulf country over its nuclear program. Kheir-Andish said in April that Iran LNG was poised to begin exporting by the end of 2012 after tapping domestic funds to beat the punitive economic and financial measures.

The country aims to become a major LNG supplier with an annual production capacity of 70 million tons by 2015, according to Press TV. Iran has seven LNG production projects, it said, without giving details.

Iran shares the world's largest known gas deposit with Qatar, which can produce 77 million metric tons of LNG a year and is the biggest exporter of the fuel.


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