Economy, Business And Markets

Call for Focus on Steel Industry Vision

Call for Focus on Steel Industry Vision
Call for Focus on Steel Industry Vision

The Strategic Committee for Steel and Mining Industries Conference concluded its session on Monday by urging the private sector to play a stronger role in steel production chain, underlining the necessity of revising the steel industry's vision plan.

The session was attended by officials from the ministry of industry, mine, and trade as well as the heads of key steel manufacturing companies, according to Fooladnews.

During the session, the adviser to the vice president, Mostafa Mo'azenzadeh, urged the ministry of industry to pay more attention to the vision plan, calling it a crucial element in policy-making process in the steel sector.    

The Steel and Mining Industries Conference, set to be held in Tehran on Jan. 27-28, 2015, mainly aims to help achieve the targets set by the Sixth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (March 2016-March 2021).

Based on the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan, which will remain in force until March 21, 2015, the country will have to produce 42 million tons of steel in one year. But it will certainly not be able to accomplish the goal with regards to the current annual steel production which hardly reaches 20 million tons.

To reach the annual production of 55 million tons by 2025, the country needs to develop basic infrastructure within the industry, said Rasool Khalifeh Soltan, secretary for Iranian Association of Steel Manufacturers.

Accomplishing the 55-milion-ton goal will need at least $45 billion in investment, out of which $20 billion should be directly spent on the steel industry and $25 billion on infrastructure and downstream or upstream industries, said the Jafar Sarqini, deputy industry minister, during the session.

Some steel experts believe production of more than 40 million tons of steel in the next 10 to 15 years is something beyond expectations, considering the current capacities in Iran.

A crucial factor in setting up new steel plants is the location of the new mills which needs to be proximate to water resources.

During the past years, the previous government approved numerous steel plants in different provinces. But the Rouhani administration is now saying that the previous administration did not take water concerns into consideration in many cases. The ministry of industry has now been revising the location of several of those plants.

The current administration has decided to construct steel factories on coastal areas of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.

Financial Tribune Managing Director Alireza Bakhtiari also attended the session. He said major steel manufacturers from China, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Finland have already been invited to the conference.

Bakhtiari pointed to China’s leading role in the industry, saying that the eastern Asian country produces more than 770 million tons of crude steel per annum, giving it a dominant position in global markets.

The government plans to support a stronger presence of the private sector in the strategic industry, he stated.

Iran is the biggest steel producer in the Middle East and North Africa. The country’s main steel mills are located in Isfahan and Khuzestan provinces.