Five new plants and $14bn of upgrades would put Iran in the same refining league as Saudi Arabia. But the requisite foreign investment may be slow to arrive.

Iran has prioritized developing five new projects that will raise the country’s liquids processing capacity to 3.27mn b/d from 1.86mn b/d, according to Abbas Kazemi, managing director of state-owned refiner NIORDC.

NIORDC will complete the first of three 120,000 b/d condensate splitters comprising Persian Gulf Star at Bandar...