Economy, Business And Markets

Steel Alloy Production Up 8%, Exports Rise 12%

Steel Alloy Production  Up 8%, Exports Rise 12%Steel Alloy Production  Up 8%, Exports Rise 12%

The Iran Alloy Steel Company (IASCO) produced more than 419,000 metric tons of alloy steel in the Iranian calendar year 1393 (ended March 20), indicating 8% growth compared to the previous year, Eghtesadnews reported.

The company also exported more than 17,000 tons of its products including heat treatable steel, surface-hardened steel, micro alloyed steel, ball bearing, and stainless steel worth $12 million during the period, which compared to the previous year, indicated 12% growth in terms of weight and 2% growth in terms of value, IRNA reported.

The IASCO is the biggest producer of alloy steel in the Middle East and is among the most advanced producers of the material in the world, an official from IASCO, Manoochehr Qeravi said during a presser in the central Yazd Province on Monday, which was attended by deputy minister of industry, mine, and trade, Mehdi Karbasian.

The IASCO exports its products to Germany, the UAE, Spain, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Belgium, Qatar, South Korea, and Afghanistan. The alloy steel is used in different industries such as the oil, petrochemical and auto sectors, power plants, railways, machinery and medical equipment manufacturing.

Responding to questions by foreign and domestic reporters at the press conference, Karbasian underlined Iran's great potential in the mining and mineral industries sectors, noting that the country is ready to absorb foreign investments. "Foreign financiers can invest up to 100% in the industrial and mineral projects with no restrictions," said Karbasian who is also head of the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO).

During the past 18 months, foreign companies and investors have expressed strong desire to invest in Iran's mining and mineral projects, particularly in the steel sector. China and India have already started participating in steel projects, with the former having agreed to finance seven major steel projects across the country.

"Three out of the seven steel projects will start operation in the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21)," Karbasian told IRNA, adding that the remaining four projects will become operational within the next three years. The seven provincial steel projects had come to a halt for many years due to financing issues; but, according to the IMIDRO chief, the Chinese have pledged to facilitate opening letters of credit (LC's) for the projects. The country's crude steel output will increase by at least 6 million tons per annum following completion of the seven steel projects.

Karbasian further noted that IMIDRO's main concern for the steel sector is the lack of raw material such as iron ore concentrate and iron ore pellet, recalling that the  2025 Vision Plan requires the steel sector to increase annual output to at least 55 million tons by the next decade from the current 18 million tons.

"Yazd Province has great potential for development in the mining and mineral industries," said Karbasian during his visit to the iron ore mines in the small city of Bafq, 120 kilometers southeast of Yazd. The province has 2.2 billion tons of proven reserves, producing 51% of the country's iron ore.

Karbasian observed that not only is it possible for the country to achieve its targeted 55 million tons crude steel production, but that annual aluminum and copper production can also increase from the current annual production rate of 320,000 and 255,000 tons to 2 million tons and 1.5 million tons respectively. The deputy industry minister emphasized that achieving the goals set for the aluminum and copper sectors would be much easier after a possible final nuclear deal between Iran and the major powers.