Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Chinese companies have offered to invest $2 billion to build a refinery in a northern region of Iran located in the southern shores of the Caspian Sea, according to an Iranian news agency report.
Hassan Kheirianpour, the deputy governor general for economic affairs of the province of Mazandaran, which is located north of Tehran, was informed about the Chinese companies interest, the agency said Monday.
An economic envoy from the Jiangxi province, located in the southeast of China, voiced the interest in investing to build a plant, the report added.
The landlocked Caspian sea is shared by Iran with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan.
The Chinese investment in Iran reportedly soared in the past four years, according to Iranian officials quoted by Caspian News, a publication that calls itself independent and headquartered in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Chinese companies had $2.3 billion of direct investment in Iran from 2014 to 2018 while investments from 1996 to 2014 were just $110 million, an Iranian official told the publication during a China-Iran trade conference in Teheran in January.
Iran has a nominal refining capacity of 1.9 million barrels of crude oil per day, according to OPEC.
Iran's crude oil production as of September was 3.4 million barrels per day production, according to the latest OPEC report.
On the other hand, China had some 11.8 million barrels per day of oil demand as of August, according to the same report.
That figure more than triples China's crude oil production of 3.8 million barrels per day. China makes up the difference with imports.