EghtesadOnline: The combined nominal capacity of Iran's aluminum producers, namely Iran Aluminum Company (IRALCO) located in Arak (Markazi Province), Almahdi and Hormozal in Bandar Abbas (Hormozgan Province) and the newly-inaugurated Jajarm Aluminum Complex located in Jajarm County (North Khorasan Province), stands at 468,000 tons per year.
IRALCO accounts for 175,000 tons of the total followed by Hormozal with 143,000 tons, Almahdi with 110,000 tons and Jajarm with 40,000 tons.
“The first phase of South Aluminum Company, once operational, will add 300,000 tons, and the second phase will add a further 600,000 tons, bringing Iran's total nominal capacity of aluminum production to 1.3 million tons per annum,” said Shahriar Taherpour, a former managing director of the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran, also known as IDRO Group, Financial Tribune reported.
Noting that aluminum is the second most produced and consumed metal in the world after steel, Taherpour told Mehr News Agency that aluminum is considered “steel of the 21st century”.
Aluminum consumption alone exceeds that of non-ferrous metals. Global aluminum industry has created about 1.5 million direct and 6 million indirect jobs.
Iran produced 300,000 tons of aluminum in the last fiscal year (March 2018-19). Excluding Jajarm’s output, there is a gap of more than 120,000 tons between nominal and actual capacities.
Jajarm Aluminum Complex became operational in July with an investment of 17 trillion rials (about $150 million), creating 400 direct and 1,600 indirect jobs.
According to Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Reza Rahmani, Jajarm Aluminum Complex meets 30% of Iran’s domestic demand.
Taherpour said Iran’s per capita aluminum consumption has been around 4.5 kilograms over the past 10 years.
Currently, per capita aluminum consumption in the world is about 9 kilograms.
The US and Canada are the biggest aluminum consumers in the world with a per capita rate of 23 and 27 kilograms respectively.
The Iranian aluminum industry’s biggest challenge currently revolves around supplying raw materials, such as alumina and petroleum coke. Producers are grappling with lack of access to raw materials and higher purchase prices due to sanctions.
Connecting aluminum production units to railroads and exploring new bauxite mines can help reduce costs.
Major Iranian aluminum producers' output during the first six months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Sept. 22) stood at 123,576 tons, which indicate a 32% decrease compared with last year's corresponding period, the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization's latest report shows.
Flagship producer Iran Aluminum Company accounted for 89,067 tons of the total output, registering no year-on-year change.
Following were Hormozal Aluminum Company with 17,046 tons, down 70% YOY; Almahdi Aluminum Company with 14,565 tons, down 59% YOY; and Iran Alumina Company with 2,898 tons.
Aluminum production during the month to Sept. 22 stood at 19,983 tons to witness a fall of 32% YOY.
Iran Alumina Company produced 116,718 tons of alumina powder during the six months, down 4% YOY.
Alumina powder output during the same month amounted to 18,238 tons, down by 7% compared with last year’s corresponding period.