EghtesadOnline: There seems to be no end in sight to Mobarakeh Steel Company’s expansive domination in the Iranian steel industry, as the country’s largest steelmaker has announced plans to buy a stake in Iran’s only wide-plate producer.
MSC’s Managing Director Bahram Sobhani announced on Saturday that his company is eager to purchase a controlling stake in Khouzestan Oxin Steel Company.
The Isfahan-based steelmaker currently has controlling stakes in more than 20 steel mills and investment holdings.
“We are currently negotiating the purchase,” Sobhani was quoted as saying by Bourse 24. “As a large-scale mining and steel complex, MSC’s expansion is our priority.”
According to Financial Tribune, he added that the company intends to buy or establish steel plants in close proximity to free waters of Persian Gulf.
MSC already has a subsidiary, Hormozgan Steel Company, which operates in southern Iran.
The underdeveloped transportation infrastructure in Iran has for long hampered steelmakers’ competitive edge in exports. Operating closer to free waters will help reduce transportation costs and bypass substandard railroads and roads.
Mahmoud Akbari, MSC’s head of marketing and sales, said the company has set the target of selling 7 million tons of flat steel in the current Iranian year (started March 21).
Together with its subsidiaries, MSC is the largest flat steel producer in Middle East and North Africa, and meets 20% of the region’s steel demand and accounts for 1% of Iran’s GDP.
Located in the southern Khuzestan Province, Oxin is Iran’s biggest producer of heavy plates. It is the only local producer of heavy wide steel plate and can produce it in widths of 1,100-4,500 millimeters with a thickness of 8-150 mm.
Oxin produced about 650,000 tons of steel products in the last Iranian year, about 30,000 tons of which were exported, mainly to Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands.