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Peace Pipeline Contract Soon
Gas Flow by 2011
Iran to Build Indonesian Oil Refinery
Smart Card Project Costs $70m
Overseas Assets Top $61b
Polluting Cars Shun Inspection
Construction Sector Invited to Batimat Fair
Golestan Eyes
More Private Investment
To Standardize Tea
Industry and Mines Day
To Be Commemorated

Peace Pipeline Contract Soon
Gas Flow by 2011
Managing director of National Iranian Gas Export Company announced on Saturday that due to the good progress in the Iran-Pakistan-India talks, the contract for building the ’peace pipeline’ is being finalized and will soon be signed by officials of three countries.
Nosratollah Seifi told PIN that in the current round of negotiations three final documents will be drawn up and the final text of the contract is also being prepared.
High-ranking officials of the three countries are holding talks on the legal aspects of the final text, he noted adding the text of declaration for companies that will sign the contract was signed in Saturday’s negotiations.
The official stated that if agreements are reached, this will possibly be the last round of trilateral negotiations.
Seifi stated that Indian and Pakistani officials are optimistic about the costs of gas transit and a final agreement on that issue will also be reached in the near future.
“No important event has been predicted for tomorrow, but ministers of the three countries will be asked about suitable time for contract signing,“ he added, saying that the signing date will not exceed the end of July.
Earlier AFP quoted Oil Ministry’s special representative, Hojatollah Ghanimifard as saying in New Delhi that fuel-hungry India will receive gas from energy-rich Iran via a multi-billion-dollar pipeline through Pakistan in four years.
“The gas supply will start in 2011,“ said Ghanimifard, according to a report in India’s Business Standard paper. “Almost 18 percent of the physical work on the pipeline in Iran has been completed since last year.“
Ghanimifard made the comments to reporters after talks that wrapped up on Friday with Indian Oil Minister Murli Deora and Pakistan’s Petroleum Secretary Ahmad Waqar to finalize details for the 7.4-billion-dollar pipeline.
Discussions on the proposal started in 1994, but have been stalled because of technical and commercial issues. “We are confident of resolving all issues by next month,“ said Indian Petroleum Secretary M.S. Srinivasan.
India and Pakistan agreed in February to pay Iran $4.93 per million British thermal units for its gas. However issues such as how often pricing should be revised--Iran now wants this to happen every three years instead of the previously agreed seven--remain to be decided.
“If Iran’s proposed gas price after three years was not acceptable to us, we will not be able to do much,“ an Indian official, who was not identified, told the Press Trust of India news agency.
“We will not even be able to walk out of the project as over $4 billion would have already been invested.“
The 2,600-kilometer (1,600-mile) pipeline from Iran’s giant South Pars gas field will initially carry around 60 million standard cubic meters per day of gas.

Iran to Build Indonesian Oil Refinery
The Iranian government is planning to build a multimillion-dollar oil refinery in Bojonegara, Serang, Banten, announced Iran’s Ambassador to Indonesia Behrooz Kamalvandi on Saturday, reported Jakarta Post.
President Ahmadinejad in a meeting with Indonesian president in Jakarta several months ago signed a number of documents to expand Indonesian-Iranian cooperation, including the development of an oil refinery plant in Banten, the ambassador said.
In his press statement sent to Banten provincial administration, Kamalvandi said that the refinery would likely be built in Bojonegara subdistrict, because it was close to the coast and this would make it easy to market the product.
In that location, the regional government of Banten is also planning to construct international standard facilities. “Refinery process needs a lot of water. Therefore, Bojonegara is selected to be the main site of the plant. We have carried out pre-feasibility studies on the possibilities of Bojonegara to be selected,“ the ambassador said.
He said that the feasibility studies were conducted very carefully and prudently since a site for such a plant needed extensive land.
The project will benefit Banten as it would absorb thousands of workers, he said.
Once operational, the plant would refine some 20,000 barrels of oil per day. “This would meet a quarter of Indonesia’s need for oil,“ he added.

Smart Card Project Costs $70m
The gasoline quota for governmental cars has been set at 300 liters per month and for
taxis at 800.
Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh said 650 billion rials ($70.2 million) were spent on preparing and running the smart fuel card system, PIN reported.
The investment included the purchase of card, issuance of card, purchase of systems, equipment for data processing center, renovation of pumps, and purchase of V100 accessories, 300 satellite-controlled V100 systems and 2,200 phone lines, he noted.
The capital committed to the project is at least 30 times less than the cost of constructing a refinery, he noted.
Vaziri-Hamaneh added if fuel smart card results in even a one-percent drop in gasoline consumption, its value would be equal to the gasoline output of a 200-thousand-barrel refinery.
Fuel smart card system enjoys the most advanced information technology in terms of design and installation and 13,500 pumps in 2,300 gas stations have been so far equipped with the system.
From Wednesday, Iran, one of the world’s largest oil producers, began rationing petrol nationwide and the Oil Ministry has allocated each private car 100 liters per month at 0.108 dollars per liter for normal and 0.151 dollars for super petrol.
The gasoline quota for governmental cars has been set at 300 liters per month and for taxis at 800.
Vaziri-Hamaneh earlier reiterated that gasoline rationing would continue. “This decision has been approved by the parliament and therefore the government is determined to implement it,“ the minister told Mehr. “The plan will cause no problems for the people.“
Although Iran is a leading OPEC member and the world’s fourth biggest oil producer with a daily oil production of 4.2 million barrels, it still spends 5-8 billion dollars annually on petrol imports due to a lack of refineries and a preference for oil export.
Under the new plan, petrol is only supplied through smart card, an initiative taken by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to stop lavish fuel consumption--73 million liters daily--by over seven million cars nationwide.

Overseas Assets Top $61b
Central Bank of Iran (CBI) in its latest report on Saturday announced that the country’s overseas assets reached $61.411 billion in the year to March 2007, Fars reported.
The report further said that the country’s overseas assets which stood at over 428,000 billion rials until March 2006, increased to 558,000 billion rials indicating a growth of 30.5 percent in the past year.
According to CBI report, overseas assets rose by 42.9 percent during March 2005-March 2006.

Polluting Cars Shun Inspection
Tehran Municipality is ready to establish mechanized centers for inspecting buses, mini-buses and heavy vehicles once the budget is allocated.
Owners of over 70 percent of polluting cars avoid technical inspection of their vehicles or even fail to obtain documents to prove that their cars are in good running condition.
A member of Tehran Vehicle Technical Inspection Headquarters Presiding Board told the Persian daily ’Iran’ that statistics indicate that 40 percent of the cars fail to pass technical tests on their first visit to the centers because of the high level of pollution.
Vahid Norouzi said that CO emitted by a new car average about one-hundredth of the level for cars manufactured before March 2001.
He recalled that close to 650,000 cars were referred for obtaining technical certificates in the year to March 2007, of which 180,000 failed to receive the necessary documents due to their high level of pollutants.
According to official figures, there are 3.5 million cars in the capital which should be checked once a year, he added.
Norouzi said that about 40 percent of the vehicles brought to the technical inspection centers were produced in March 2002-March 2006, 31 percent were manufactured in March 1998-March 2002, 10 percent in March 1994-March 1998 and the rest were other models made during the year to March 2007.
He continued that Tehran needs 50 mechanized technical inspection centers, saying the headquarters aim to issue permits for reliable auto repair centers to set up auto tune-up stations with private investment. So, the headquarters will only supervise on their performance, he added.
According to him, motorcycles are responsible for 21.3 percent of Tehran’s air pollution.
He said that under the law, Roads and Transportation Ministry is in charge of setting up technical centers for heavy vehicles.
The official elaborated that Tehran Municipality is ready to establish mechanized centers for inspecting buses, mini-buses and heavy vehicles once the budget is allocated.
Referring to the approval of the cabinet in 2003 and later in 2005, he said driving is banned with a vehicle that lacks a reliable technical certificates.

Construction Sector Invited to Batimat Fair
Iranian market is very important in the region and assessment about the country’s potentials in the construction sector are higher than those of France, manager of Middle East Construction Exhibition (Batimat) told IRNA.
Leonard Lecoq pointed out that Iran has witnessed a positive growth in the construction sector in recent years.
Lecoq, who is visiting Iran to discuss the agenda for Batimat 2008, underlined the need to send Iranian delegation from both the state and private sectors to the event.
He explained that the France-based fair is hosted by a country in turns, adding Poland has been selected for the 2007 event.
If Iran enjoys good potentials, the necessary coordination can be made for its participation in the event.
Lecoq proposed that Iran take part in Batimat Middle East Exhibition which is to be held at the Abu Dhabi International Exhibition Center in the UAE from April 20-23, 2008.
He continued that the Batimat show was planned to be held in Abu Dhabi in 2008 given UAE’s 350-percent growth in the construction sector during 2006.
At Batimat 2008, latest construction technologies would be discussed by representatives from participating countries, he concluded.
Batimat brings together all the construction equipment and materials suppliers under one roof. It is a multi-specialist exhibition with seven areas comprising Structure, Joinery and Windows, Finishing and Decoration, Equipment and Tools, Building Integrated Systems, Information Technology and Services.
It is the biggest and the most important construction event for all trades and professionals including architects and engineers, property developers, owners/landlords and managers, building materials distributors, builder’s merchants, plant hire firms, building contractors and tradesmen and finally manufacturers of construction products and machinery.

Golestan Eyes
More Private Investment
Some 10,000 billion rials worth of credit have been allocated to the Caspian province of Golestan in the year to March 2008, the provincial governor general said, according to a fax sent to Iran Daily.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of Center for Supporting Provincial Investment, Yahya Mahmoudzadeh added that the existence of proper grounds in the province could be important for attracting investors.
He said that the center could play an important role in achieving the goals of Article 44 of the Constitution which envisages large scale privatization.
Supporting private investment, preparing grounds for investment and doing away with bureaucracy can help develop the province, he contended.
Mahmoudzadeh expressed hope that the center could be successful in drawing the domestic and foreign investments.
At the ceremony, Mohammad Do-Dangi was introduced as the head of the new center which operates across the province to draw and support domestic and foreign investments.
Extended over an area of 20,400 square kilometers, the province has a population of over 1.6 million.
The province boasts of numerous natural, cultural and historical potentials and is also home to a number of ethnic groups.

To Standardize Tea
Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran (ISIRI) is ready to standardize tea, head of the institute told IRNA.
Mohammad Nazemi Ardakani said that tea is considered the staple and strategic product of Gilan province.
On tea import, he said the institute is obliged to control foreign products given the use of various essences in imported tea.
He pointed out that the use of natural tea essence has been envisaged in domestic products not only to satisfy the taste of domestic consumers but also for exports.
Elsewhere in his remarks, he said 27,000 international standards have been devised for industrial commodities which want to compete in global markets.
Nazemi Ardakani noted that about 9,000 national standard codes have been drawn up for numerous industrial products, of which, 538 are compulsory.
These commodities are produced in 11,000 industrial units which are frequently controlled by ISIRI inspectors, he added.
The official said that ISIRI has close to 2,000 experts nationwide.
Underlining the need for standardization across the country, he said it should be defined as a job, adding many university professors and graduates can help in devising and implementing the standards.

Industry and Mines Day
To Be Commemorated
Tea is considered the staple and strategic product of Gilan province.
Industry and Mines Day (July 1) will be commemorated today in a ceremony attended by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, economic ministers, heads of Majlis economic commissions, industrialists and miners, according to a fax sent to Iran Daily by Industries and Mines Ministry.
Deputy industries minister for financial affairs, Abdolhamid Samareh-Hashemi, further said that 78 plaques of honors are to be presented to exemplary units, projects and mine workers at the ceremony.
Elaborating on this, he said that out of figure, some 31 exemplary units, four veteran industrialists and miners, four mine explorers, 20 mining units and four mine workers would be honored. Awards will also be given for two research and development projects, two industrial and mine researches, two industrial and mine centers and five plans. In addition to this, he added, a workshop complex, a technology center and an industrial township will also receive awards.
Samareh-Hashemi pointed out that about 37 national projects worth 38,167 billion rials, $335 million and 1.770 million euros will be launched by the ministry during the event. The projects can create 3,542 new jobs, he added.
Also 160 provincial projects will be inaugurated by the governor-generals and local officials in the provinces, he concluded.