Economy, Business And Markets

Steel Output to Reach 50m Tons by Yearend

Steel Output to Reach 50m Tons by YearendSteel Output to Reach 50m Tons by Yearend

Iran’s annual steel production is expected to reach 50 million tons by the end of the current fiscal year (March 20, 2017), said Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh during a visit to the eastern Khorasan Razavi Province’s Sangan region.

Increasing steel production is a goal pursued by officials as per the 20-Year National Vision Plan (2005-25), which stipulates that the country should become the world’s sixth largest steelmaker by increasing output to 55 million tons by the end of 2025.

According to Nematzadeh, in the past two years, over 20 million tons have been added to the domestic steelmaking capacity after a series of iron ore concentrate, pellet, sponge iron and steel sheet production plants were established.

“The domestic steel industry’s production capacity currently stands at about 25 million tons per year, only 17 million tons of which are being used,” he said.

The government’s efforts to increase steel output come against a backdrop of shrinking demand for the industrial material at home, owing mostly to the faltering construction sector. As a natural reaction, Iranian steelmakers have been increasingly looking beyond borders to sell their products.

About 1.8 million tons of crude steel and 4.1 million tons of steel products were exported in the last Iranian year, indicating 200% and 4% rise respectively compared to a year before.

Sangan region, dubbed “Iran’s Mineral Heaven” and “Second Asaluyeh”, is home to a large number of mining projects.

Ehya Sepahan Iron Mines Company’s iron ore concentrate production plant was inaugurated by the industries minister during the first leg of his provincial tour on Saturday and is set to produce 900,000 tons of the industrial material every year.

Asaluyeh located in the southern Bushehr Province has the world’s largest natural gas field.

Other projects currently under construction in the region include Mobarakeh Steel Company’s iron ore concentrate and pellet plants, each with 5 million tons of annual production capacity; Tose’e Melli Investment Group’s concentrate and pellet plants, each capable of producing 2.5 million tons per year; Kaveh Pars Mining Industries Development Company’s concentrate and pellet plants each with an annual capacity of 2.5 million tons, and Khorasan Steel Company’s iron ore concentrate project with a 2.5-million-ton capacity.

According to Nematzadeh, the projects will be completed by the yearend.

He also said new explorations in Sangan, undertaken by the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization, have increased the mine’s iron ore reserves to nearly 1.2 billion tons, besides leading to the discovery of substantial deposits of copper, antimony, lead and zinc.

IMIDRO set about exploring 200,000 square kilometers of Iran’s area over a course of three years back in 2013 in cooperation with the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade and the Geological Survey of Iran.

On Saturday, IMIDRO chief, Mehdi Karbasian, announced that Iran’s proven iron ore reserves are estimated to grow 50% to reach 4 to 4.5 billion tons by the end of 2016.