EghtesadOnline: South Aluminum Corporation (SALCO) located in Lamerd, capital of Lamerd County in Fars Province, will begin the production of 100,000 tons of aluminum ingots per year as of the next Iranian month (Nov. 22-Dec. 21).
Its production capacity is expected to reach 300,000 tons per year in a subsequent phase, the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade’s Shata News reported.
The final production capacity is expected to reach 1 million tons of aluminum ingots and billets per year.
SALCO aims to become Iran’s biggest aluminum producer and the fourth major producer in the Middle East, Financial Tribune reported.
A total of 120 trillion rials ($1.06 billion) have been invested in the company, having created 1,200 jobs.
The combined nominal capacity of Iran's aluminum producers, namely Iran Aluminum Company (IRALCO) located in Arak (Markazi Province), Almahdi located in Bandar Abbas (Hormozgan Province), Hormozal also in Bandar Abbas, and 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.
Iran produced around 300,000 tons of aluminum in the last fiscal year (March 2018-19). Without taking into consideration Jajarm’s output, there is a gap of more than 120,000 tons between the 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.
Shahriar Taherpour, former managing director of the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran, said Iran’s per capita aluminum consumption has been around 4.5 kilograms over the past 10 years.
However, per capita aluminum consumption in the world is about 9 kilograms.
The US and Canada are currently the biggest aluminum consumers in the world with a per capita consumption of 23 and 27 kilograms respectively.
Iran’s aluminum industry’s biggest challenge currently revolves around supplying raw materials, including alumina and petroleum coke.
Producers are facing difficulties procuring raw materials due to sanctions and have to purchase them at prices much higher than the global rates.
Connecting aluminum production units to railroads and exploring new bauxite mines in the country 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 indicates 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.
It was followed by 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 six months, down 4% YOY.
Alumina powder output during the month to Sept. 22 amounted to 18,238 tons, down by 7% compared with last year’s similar period.