EghtesadOnline: East Azarbaijan Province in northeastern Iran is home to 30 steel production units and annual earns $100 million from steel exports.
The province processes 5.5 million tons of steel per year and has a 24% share in Iran’s total steel output, IRNA reported.
East Azarbaijan has also done well in creating steel-related jobs in that more than 5,000 people are working in the province’s steel industries.
According to Hossein Nejati, the head of East Azarbaijan Industries, Mining and Trade Organization, the province exported 153,000 tons of steel products worth $65.5 million from the beginning of the current fiscal (March 21, 2018) until Jan. 12, Financial Tribune reported.
Nejati noted that the province produced 950,000 tons of crude steel and 3.5 million tons of finished steel products in the last fiscal (March 2017-18), while crude steel and finished steel output stood at 610,000 tons and 2.14 million tons respectively during the seven months of the current year (March 21-Oct. 22, 2018).
Nejati predicted that the province’s crude steel and finished steel output would reach over 1.5 million tons and 3.68 million tons respectively by the fiscal yearend (March 20, 2019).
Azarbaijan Steel Company to Increase Production
Mohammad Jafar Azmaei, the managing director of Azarbaijan Steel Company located in Mianeh, capital of Mianeh County in East Azarbaijan Province, says plans are underway to increase the company’s output to more than 2 million tons per year, after a new unit in the company becomes operational in the next Iranian year (March 2019-20).
Azmaei added that currently 550,000 tons of products are produced in the company per year.
“We have exported 27,000 tons of steel products to Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia in the past few months,” he said.
"In addition, Azarbaijan Steel Company produces 800,000 tons of direct-reduced iron annually."
The company launched a new DRI production unit earlier this year with an investment of 2.8 trillion rials ($25.47 million), creating direct jobs for 500 and indirect employment for 1,500 others.
The DRI unit is among those to apply Iranian direct-reduction technology called PERED, or Persian Reduction, invented and patented by Mines and Metals Engineering GmbH, an Iranian engineering company registered in Germany.
PERED technology helps optimize energy and raw materials, and reduces production costs with the added advantage of being more environment-friendly compared to other direct reduction methods.
In PERED, the reduction process is more efficient, employs improved cooling methods and cuts pollutant gas emissions. With less heat, more homogeneous gas reduction, more controllable pellet feed and use of centrifugal compressors, PERED requires less water, electricity and gas to operate, at lower operational and maintenance costs.
Fulad Nab Tabriz Company’s 10% Share in Iran’s Steel Output
According to managing director of another steelmaker in East Azerbaijan, Fulad Nab Tabriz Co., the company has the capacity to cover 10% of Iran’s total steel output.
Karim Rahimi added that the company’s nominal output stands at around 450,000 tons and about 400 people are working there.
“Ninety-eight percent of parts needed for the production line in this company are produced by the company’s own specialists,” he added.
Fulad Nab Tabriz Company exports about 40,000 tons of products to the UAE, Iraq, Afghanistan and Turkey.
Latest National Steel Data
The latest data show Iran's crude steel production hit 22.5 million tons during January-November, up 17.3% compared with last year’s corresponding period. Iran’s November steel output grew 2.5% year-on-year to hit 2 million tons, according to World Steel Association.
Iran has been ranked the world’s 11th biggest producer of steel during the period under Worldsteel's review.
The country is placed between Italy (10th) with 22.81 million tons and Taiwan (12th) with 21.08 million tons.
Crude steel is defined as steel in its first solid (or usable) form: ingots and semi-finished products (billets, blooms and slabs). This is not to be confused with liquid steel, which is steel poured.
The Worldsteel report also shows Iran was the second biggest producer of direct-reduced iron in the world with 2.05 million tons in November and 22.64 during the first 11 months of 2018.
As for export data, the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization recently reported that 4.36 million tons of semi-finished and finished steel products were exported during the nine months to Dec. 21 to register a year-on-year decline of 15%.
The steel mills shipped out 254,018 tons during the ninth month of the year (Nov. 22-Dec. 21), which shows a 52% decline compared with the same month of the year before.