EghtesadOnline: The government will invest 21,510 billion rials ($512.14 million) in Khorasan Razavi Province in northeast Iran, the head of Management and Planning Organization, Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, said.
The investment includes 4,720 billion rials ($112.38 million) for the agricultural sector, 4,520 billion rials ($107.61 million) for six water projects, 370 billion rials ($8.8 million) for the industrial sector, 200 billion rials ($4.76 million) for education and 4,100 billion rials ($97.61 million) for urban and rural development, Nobakht, who doubles as the Iranian government spokesman, was quoted as saying by IRNA.
“About 150 billion rials ($3.57 million) will go to higher education, 2,420 billion rials ($57.61 million) to health sector, 4,300 billion rials ($102.38 million) to transportation, 890 billion rials ($21.19 million) to sports and youth, and 340 billion rials ($8.09 million) to tourism,” he added.
President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated 436 development projects worth about 40,000 billion rials ($952.38 million) in Khorasan Razavi on Monday. Among them were two iron ore processing plants, namely a direct-reduced iron plant established by Sabzevar Pars Steel Company and a pellet production plant set up by Khorasan Steel Company, Financial Tribune reported.
The DRI plant has the capacity to produce 800,000 tons of sponge iron per year in its first development phase, most of which will be used to feed SPSCO’s bloom and billet production. About 7.5 trillion rials ($178.5 million) were invested in the project in a joint venture between SPSCO and Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization.
The Presidential Office’s website said Sabzevar DRI plant has been established using “indigenous engineering knowledge and direct-reduction technology by Iranian contractors”.
The second leg of the president’s tour brought him to Neyshabour City, where he inaugurated Khorasan Steel Company’s 2.5-million-ton per year pellet plant.
“The project was established using an investment of 390 billion rials ($9.28 million) and €44 million,” Raziyeh Alirezaei, the head of Khorasan Razavi’s Industries, Mining and Trade Organization, said.
The pellet plant, the capacity of which is set to reach 3-4 million tons in the next phases, enables Khorasan Steel to become one of the few steelmakers in Iran to operate a full iron ore to steel production chain.
According to managing director of Khorasan Industrial Estates Company, Masoud Mehdizadeh Moqaddam, foreign investors injected $11.5 million into the industrial projects of Khorasan Razavi last year (March 2017-18).
The official added that 148 new industrial units worth 3.15 billion rials ($75,000) were launched by domestic investors in industrial towns of the province during the same period.
There are 5,700 manufacturing units in 45 industrial towns of Khorasan Razavi, making up 44% of the total number of manufacturing units in the province.
According to Hassan Zamani, a top official at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism, the province saw the highest amount of investment in tourism and pilgrimage industry in the country in the last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2018).
Mojtaba Mazrouei, the deputy for investment at the provincial ICHHTO office, said out of 1,657 tourism projects worth 323 trillion rials ($7.6 billion), 340 valued at 76.5 trillion rials ($1.8 billion) were carried out in Khorasan Razavi.
The province accounts for more than 70% of Iran’s saffron production.
Mazrouei added that about 117,000 households in the province earn their living from saffron cultivation.
Iran is the world’s biggest saffron producer and accounts for more than 90% of the global production.
Khorasan Razavi is also a major hub for the production of hand-woven Persian carpets.