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Siemens CEO holds high-level meetings in Iran

[FRANKFURT] German industrial group Siemens is stepping up its efforts to win projects in Iran, after its chief executive met Iran's oil minister and other government representatives in Tehran on Monday.

"We want to pick up where we left off," Siemens said in a statement, citing its engagement in Iran since 1868, especially in the energy sector and rail transportation. "We see great pent-up demand."

Siemens stopped doing new business in Iran in 2010 but last month signed deals to work on Iran's railway infrastructure worth up to 1.5 billion euros (S$2.3 billion) in anticipation of Western sanctions against Iran being lifted. "We never left the country and stand by our commitment also in difficult times, always compliant with international regulations. We'll now be stepping up our efforts toward continuing this long tradition," Siemens said.

The chief executive of Siemens rival General Electric's oil and gas division also visited Iran recently, GE said earlier this month.

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Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said Siemens had promised to speed up the delivery of compressors and turbines for gas extraction following his meeting with Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser, according to the ministry's news agency, Shana.

"Iran needs to withdraw more gas, requiring it to purchase rotary machinery and wellhead compressors, and Siemens can be a good partner for Iran in this field," it quoted Mr Zangeneh as saying.

Siemens' oil and gas business, which it bolstered with the US$7.8 billion acquisition of Dresser Rand last year, has suffered from the plunging oil price, which has choked investments in new equipment, especially in the United States.

Iran sits on one of the world's largest gas reserves.

Shana said Mr Zangeneh had told Siemens it could start joint ventures with any Iranian company and export equipment to regional markets using the Siemens brand. Siemens was already planning to work with Oil Turbo Compressor Company, it said.

Siemens said it could not comment on individual customers, contracts or agreements.

REUTERS

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