Iran will establish 18 new petrochemical complexes , special for downstream industries, IRNA quoted National Iranian Petrochemical Company official Mohammad Ziar as saying.
The number of the complexes will be increased to 300 by the next four years, he added. The oil and gas industry  is usually divided into three major sectors: upstream, midstream and downstream. The downstream sector commonly refers to the refining of petroleum crude oil and the processing and purifying of raw natural gas, as well as the marketing and distribution of products derived from crude oil and natural gas. The upstream segment of the industry often refers to exploration and production. Midstream operations are often included in the downstream category and considered to be a part of the downstream sector. The downstream industries are more profitable than the upstream industries, according to Ziar . In January, Ziar said that Building petrochemical complexes is projected to boost petrochemical exports. Through establishing the complexes in border provinces, transportation costs will be reduced, he noted. Ziar said that some $8 billion has been invested in revamping refineries  in the country. The money is being spent to revamp Tehran, Arak, Bandar Abbas, and Abadan refineries, he added. He also said that a number of new refineries will be built in the country. The United States and Western powers have imposed a series of economic sanctions aimed at pressuring Iran into halting its uranium enrichment plan. Despite the sanctions, Iranian petrochemical products are being exported even to European countries, National Iranian Petrochemical Company Abdolhossein Bayat has said. Bayat said since the past eight years, the country's annual petrochemical output has been increased by 38 million tons. The output will surpass 75 million tons by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 2014), he noted.