Economy, Business And Markets

India’s Top Steelmaker to Invest $1.6b in South

India’s Top Steelmaker to Invest $1.6b in SouthIndia’s Top Steelmaker to Invest $1.6b in South

India's giant steelmaker Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has proposed to set up a 2-million-metric-ton integrated steel plant in Iran, which is estimated to cost nearly $1.62 billion. The proposed plant would be India's first major investment in Iran.

The top steelmaker has asked the Iranian administration to provide 500 hectares of land near the southern port of Bandar Abbas as well as another 500 hectares for future expansions; Fooladnews quoted the Indian Express newspaper.

The proposal was discussed during a meeting between India's Union Minister of Steel, Mines, Labour and Employment, Narendra Singh Tomar and the Iranian ambassador to the subcontinent, Gholamreza Ansari in December last year.

The Indian public sector undertaking had initially asked for full access to Iran's iron ore, limestone and dolomite in order to ensure the project's viability. To address the company's concerns, the Iranian envoy confirmed that Iran has more than 2.5-billion metric tons of iron ore reserves and is willing to jointly explore these resources with India.

The New Delhi-based state company also suggested that Iranian authorities equip the proposed plant site with natural gas pipeline, railway and road to transport raw material to the plant as well as lay the pipeline for transfer of water to a desalination plant.

Indian steel authorities have proposed formation of a joint working group to study the project's feasibility.

Iran has offered providing a site near the southeastern Chabahar port. The port can also be used for transporting iron ore from the Hajigak mines in Afghanistan, in the form of a SAIL-led consortium.

SAIL had won the contract for exploring iron ore deposits from three mines in Hajigak in 2011, with an estimated reserve of 1.8 billion metric tons of high grade ore.

Based on Iran's 2025 Vision Plan, the country should produce 55 million metric tons of steel annually while its current production stands at less than 18 million metric tons. In line with the plan, the private sector has been invited to make huge investments in the steel sector.

> Shadegan Steel Company

One of the latest examples of such expansion projects is Shadegan Steel Company in the southwestern province of Khuzestan which is planning to its triple steel production in two phases, Eghtesadnews reported on Friday.

The steel manufacturing complex is planning to increase its production to 1.5 million metric tons per year from the current 0.8 million and further start producing 2.5 million metric tons of crude steel annually.

Considering the 25-kilometer distance from the exclusive wharf belonging to its parent company, Khuzestan Steel Company, Shadegan steel plant enjoys the advantage of exporting its products easily.