"Iran Business Responsibility" launches website

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is working with International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran on the "Iran Business Responsibility" (IBR) project.

Visit the project website launched in June 2017, and explore the articles below for insights on the new investments in Iran.

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12 February 2017

Polish refiner Lotos aims for long-term oil supply deal with Iran

Author: Anna Koper


Poland's second-biggest oil refiner Lotos is interested in securing a long-term supply deal with Iran once it completes a new coking unit at its Gdansk refinery next year, its chief executive said.

State-run Lotos wants to diversify its imports of oil and gas away from Russia, its largest supplier. It signed an agreement last year with National Iranian Oil Company and the first tankers carrying 2 million barrels of Iranian oil arrived in Poland in mid-August.

It is now in talks to receive another 2 million barrels.

"We are negotiating a supply of heavy oil from Iran," CEO Marcin Jastrzebski told Reuters in an interview authorized for publication on Sunday. "We assume that shipment of two million barrels will reach the (Polish) port of Gdansk at the beginning of May."

Lotos could potentially agree a long-term contract with Iran after it finishes construction of the 2.3-billion zloty ($570 million) coking unit at its Gdansk refinery in 2018, he said.


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12 February 2017

Scania Renews Public Bus Systems in Iran

Author: Scania Website

Scania has signed an agreement in principle with the Iranian province of Isfahan and Shahr-e Atiyeh investment company on the delivery of 1,350 buses for public transport for Isfahan and four other Iranian cities. The first of these new buses will be in operation at the end of 2017.

Two Memoranda of Understanding have been signed in Teheran, in the presence of the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and the Swedish Minister for EU Affairs and Trade Ann Linde, by Henrik Henriksson President and CEO of Scania, Hamid Akbari Rad Member of the Board of Scania’s Iranian partner Oghab Afshan, the Governor of Isfahan and the Managing Director of Shahr-e Atiyeh.

There is a clear need to expand and renew public bus systems in Iran. With the two memoranda of understanding, Isfahan, 450 km south of Tehran, and four other leading and far-sighted Iranian cities, will get sustainable public transport solutions. Scania and Oghab Afshan will supply Isfahan with 350 buses and in the frame agreement with Shahr-e Atiyeh, up to 1,000 buses will be financed.

Air pollution in Iranian cities has steadily increased in recent years, claiming lives and affecting quality of life, but also hampering economic activity. In cooperation with Iranian authorities, Scania has developed solutions that ensure that local emissions are kept to a minimum with the current fuel quality. The new buses to Isfahan and Mashhad are equipped with engine technology that offers the lowest emissions levels in the country.

Iran is one of Scania’s top ten bus markets globally. Privately owned Oghab Afshan has been Scania’s bus partner and distributor in Iran since 2000. The company employs close to 1,100 persons in its Scania operations, including 860 in the bus factory.

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6 February 2017

Boeing's $17 billion Iran jet deal still at risk as US tensions ratchet up with Tehran

Author: CNBC, Jeff Daniels

In this June 2003 file photo, a Boeing 747 Iran Air plane is seen at Mehrabad International Airport in Tehran.
Boeing's agreement to sell 80 passenger jets to Iran may not be directly impacted by new U.S. sanctions on Tehran but the deal still could unravel, according to analysts.

President Donald Trump's administration on Friday imposed new sanctions on Iran after a ballistic missile test by the Islamic republic. The U.S. claims the missile test was a violation of a United Nations resolution.

"The Trump administration is absolutely determined to ratchet up tensions and the Iranians will of course, being hardliners there, want to do the same," said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at Virginia-based industry consultancy Teal Group.

In December, Boeing announced an agreement for Iran Air, the country's flag carrier, to buy 50 of its narrow-body 737 passenger jets and 30 of the wide-body 777 aircraft. The aircraft manufacturer valued at the deal at $16.6 billon, based on list prices for the planes.

Industry observers suggest Tehran could pull out of the Boeing deal if tensions continue to worsen. Besides the new sanctions, Trump's travel ban against Iran and six other majority-Muslim countries also drew criticism from Tehran and vows of retaliation.

Besides the airplane sale, the Boeing deal involves aircraft maintenance services as well as ongoing support with spare parts on the jets.

"It's a risk, but not something that will overwhelm [Boeing]," said Moody's analyst Russell Solomon, who covers the aerospace and defense industry. "They do have a tremendous amount of operating and financial flexibility because of strength of the balance sheet, a strong liquidity profile and a very significant order book."

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6 February 2017

Iran says U.S. sanctions stop American oil firms taking part in projects

Author: Reuters, Bozorgmehr Sharafedin

Iran has imposed no restrictions on U.S. oil firms willing to participate in energy projects in the country but American sanctions make such cooperation impossible, Iran's deputy oil minister said on Monday.

"Iran has not imposed any restrictions on the U.S. companies, but they cannot participate in our (oil and gas) tenders due to the U.S. laws," Amir Hossein Zamaninia, deputy oil minister for trade and international affairs, was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

"Based on the U.S. Congress sanctions, the American oil companies cannot work in Iran," he added.

Iran said on Saturday that it will hold the country's first tender in mid-February since the lifting of international sanctions to develop oil and natural gas fields.

OPEC's No. 3 oil producer hopes to draw foreign companies to invest in Iran and boost output after years of under-investment. However, foreign firms have so far made little inroads into the country despite the lifting of sanctions.

President Donald Trump's new U.S. administration on Friday imposed fresh sanctions on Iran, which it said were just initial steps. It said Washington would no longer turn a "blind eye" to Iran's hostile actions.

Dismissing the new sanctions, Zamaninia said "such actions have had no effect, and international companies are still keen to do business with Iran."

Anglo-Dutch oil firm Royal Dutch Shell signed a provisional deal in December to develop Iranian oil and gas fields South Azadegan, Yadavaran and Kish.

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25 January 2017

Austrian energy company OMV makes Iran move

Author: UPI, Daniel J. Graeber

Austrian energy company OMV said Wednesday it signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran to discuss the country's rebounding energy sector.

OMV delegates hosted representatives from Iran's Dana Energy Co., a player in exploration and development, to sign new arrangements for potential work.

"The parties agreed to evaluate possible upcoming development and re-development projects in the Iranian oil and gas industry," OMV said in a statement.

OMV was one of the early movers into an Iranian energy sector that opened up in the wake of a multilateral nuclear deal that brought sanctions relief in exchange for scaled-back nuclear ambitions. European counterparts like French supermajor Total have also waded into the Iranian energy sector by signing memorandums of understanding of their own.

In a strategy session on future opportunities in exploration and production, OMV CEO Rainer Seele said Iran was among the top priorities for the company. OMV last year signed preliminary agreements with the National Iranian Oil Co. to explore the opportunities in a complex of fields near the western border with Iraq.

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25 January 2017

Italy's Saipem signs Iran deal on major oil and gas projects

Author: Reuters, Stephen Jewkes

"Italy's Saipem signs Iran deal as rights issue kicks off"

Saipem signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday to cooperate on major oil and gas projects in Iran, as the Italian oil contractor's giant 3.5 billion-euro ($3.79 billion) rights issue began.

The deal with Iran comes at an opportune time for the company, which has been hit hard by a prolonged oil price slump that has prompted oil majors to cut investment and seek lower prices from suppliers.

Saipem, controlled by Eni and Italian state lender fund FSI, said the MoU had been signed with the Parsian Oil & Gas Development Co and involved the revamping and upgrading of the Pars Shiraz and Tabriz refineries.

No financial details were provided.

Earlier on Monday, a source close to the matter said Saipem would announce later in the day a deal worth between $4 billion and $5 billion to build 2,000 km (1,240 miles) of pipeline in Iran.

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16 January 2017

Swedish Business Delegation Travels to Iran for February 11-12 meetings

Author: Government Offices of Sweden

"Prime Minister Stefan Löfven to visit Iran"

On 11–12 February, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven will visit Iran at the invitation of President Hassan Rouhani. Discussions will primarily concern bilateral cooperation, trade issues and developments in the region, with a focusing on Syria.

Iran is an important political and economic actor with a key role in the region. Developments in the Middle East increasingly affect both Europe and Sweden. The Prime Minister has therefore travelled extensively in the region and spoken with the major stakeholders. Good relations are particularly important now that Sweden has taken its seat on the United Nations Security Council. Sweden and Iran have close ties, not least because of the large Iranian diaspora in Sweden.

A business delegation, including representatives of a large number of Swedish companies and government agencies, will also be travelling to Iran. The delegation, led by Minister for EU Affairs and Trade Ann Linde, is part of the Government’s Team Sweden initiative and export strategy to promote increased Swedish presence in growth markets. Historically, Iran has been one of Sweden’s most important export markets in the Middle East and several Swedish companies have long had a presence in the country.

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4 January 2017

Vitol clinches $1 billion pre-finance oil deal with Iran

Author: Reuters, Julia Payne and Rania El Gamal

Vitol clinches deal with National Iranian Oil Co. to loan $1 billion in euros guaranteed by future exports 

The world's largest oil trader, Vitol, has clinched a deal with the National Iranian Oil Co. (NIOC) to loan it an equivalent of $1 billion in euros guaranteed by future exports of refined products, four sources familiar with the matter said.

The pre-finance deal is the first such major contract signed between Iran and a trading house since sanctions were lifted in early 2016. Vitol and NIOC declined to comment.

It highlights the speed of the oil industry recovery in Iran just a year after lifting of sanctions, which is allowing Tehran to claw back oil market share from arch-rival Saudi Arabia.

Foreign companies still tread carefully for fear of breaking a myriad of complex laws, and oil majors such as Shell (RDSa.L), BP (BP.L) and Eni (ENI.MI) have been slow to return as regular crude lifters...

The Vitol Iranian deal was signed in October and will come into effect this month, one of the sources who is based in Tehran said.

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29 December 2016

Daelim Industrial Wins $1.9 billion Construction Deal with Iran

Author: Korea Herald

"Daelim Industrial bags W2.3tr construction deal with Iran"

Daelim Industrial has bagged a 2.3 trillion won ($1.9 billion) construction deal with Iran, marking the largest construction contract that a Korean company has won since economic sanctions on the Middle Eastern country were lifted, the company said Thursday.

The company said it received a letter of award from Iran’s Isfahan Oil Refinery to improve and expand oil refining facilities in Isfahan, 400 kilometers south of Tehran.

The deal’s value makes up about 24 percent of the company’s sales last year.

Daelim Industrial will be in charge of the process from facility design to construction and financing for four years. The two parties are planning to officially ink a formal contract next month.

Daelim Industrial has been a leading South Korean company in Iran’s construction business sector since Korea established diplomatic relations with Iran in 1962.

Starting with an engineering project for military use in May 1975, the company has carried out 26 construction projects worth about $4.6 billion in Iran over the past four decades. This is the largest order amount among Korean construction companies.

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16 December 2016

Daewoo E&C signs power plant deal in Iran

Author: Korea Times, Lee Min-hyung

Daewoo Engineering & Construction has signed a contract to build a thermal power plant in Iran, raising its profile to win more orders in the promising Middle Eastern market.

The Seoul-based construction company said Friday that the deal will see the company build a 500-megawatt (MW) combined-cycle power plant in the country's southeastern city of Kerman. The estimated value is some $500 million (550 billion won).

Under the deal with Iran's investment firm Omid, Daewoo E&C will team with the state-run Korea Western Power and Gohar Energy of Iran. The exact terms of the contract are yet to be unveiled.

"Expectations are that we can establish a stable revenue source, as Omid is one of the most influential companies in Iran," a Daewoo E&C spokesman said. "We have taken an upper hand in the Iranian plant industry, which is gaining the spotlight as the next emerging energy market."

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