EghtesadOnline: Iranian aluminum producers had an aggregate output of 171,334 tons of aluminum ingots during the first eight months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Nov. 21), which indicates a 26% 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 (IRALCO) accounted for 118,153 tons of the total output, posting no year-on-year change.
It was followed by Hormozal Aluminum Company with 25,283 tons, down 63% YOY; Almahdi Aluminum Company with 23,250 tons, down 48% YOY; and Iran Alumina Company with 4,648 tons.
Aluminum production during the month to Nov. 21 stood at 25,038 tons to witness a fall of 12% YOY, according to Financial Tribune.
Iran Alumina Company produced 152,999 tons of alumina powder during eight months, down 4% YOY.
Alumina powder output during the month ending Nov. 21 amounted to 19,782 tons, up by 1% compared with last year’s similar period.
New Production Line to Come on Stream Soon
South Aluminum Corporation (SALCO), located in Lamerd, Fars Province, is expected to soon start the production of 100,000 tons of aluminum ingots per year.
The production capacity is expected to reach 300,000 tons per year in a subsequent phase.
The final production capacity will 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.
A total of 120 trillion rials ($1 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 (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 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 nominal and actual capacity.
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, the head of South Aluminum Corporation, says 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.
Iran’s aluminum industry’s biggest challenge currently revolves around supplying raw materials, including alumina and petroleum coke. Not having access to raw materials due to sanctions and also having to purchase them at prices much higher than global rates are problematic for producers.
Connecting aluminum production units to the railroad network and exploring new bauxite mines in the country can help reduce costs.
The Iranian Mines & Mining Industries Development & Renovation and Khatam al-Anbiya Construction Headquarters signed an agreement last month to establish an alumina production unit with a capacity of 70,000 tons in Sarab County, East Azarbaijan Province.
According to IMIDRO President Khodadad Gharibpour, the organization will invest €137 million in the project, ILNA reported.
Aluminum oxide is a chemical compound of aluminum and oxygen with the chemical formula Al2O3. It is commonly called alumina and may also be called aloxide, aloxite, or alundum depending on particular forms of applications.
Al2O3 is significant in its use to produce aluminum metal, as an abrasive owing to its hardness, and as a refractory material owing to its high melting point.