EghtesadOnline: A total of 5.55 million tons of direct reduced iron were produced in Iran during the first two months of the current fiscal year (March 20-May 20) to register an 11% rise compared with last year’s corresponding period.
Latest data released by the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization show Mobarakeh Steel Company (MSC) accounted for the largest share of the output with 1.43 million tons (up 2% YOY), followed by Khuzestan Steel Company (KSC) with 893,869 tons (down 23% YOY), Chadormalu Steel Company with 276,836 tons (up 15% YOY), South Kaveh Steel Company with 276,368 tons (up 7%), Golgohar with 511,578 tons, Saba Steel Complex with 256,475 tons (up 14% YOY), Hormozgan Steel Company with 254,677 tons (down 9% YOY), Sirjan Jahan Steel Company (SJSC) with 170,051 tons (up 15%), Persian Gulf Saba Steel with 163,003 tons and Khorasan Steel Company with 147,895 tons (down 39% YOY).
Other major DRI producers included Arfa Steel Company with 143,326 tons (down 2% YOY), Neyriz Steel Complex with 142,841 tons (up 26% YOY), Mianeh Steel Complex with 142,790 tons (up 152% YOY), Sefiddasht Steel Company with 142,558 tons (up 8% YOY), Sabzevar Steel Company with 132,607 tons (up 11% YOY), Ghadir Iron and Steel Company with 120,492 tons (up 9% YOY), Shadegan Steel Complex with 119,333 tons (up 81% YOY), Middle East Mines and Mining Industries Development Holding Company with 115,950 tons (down 8% YOY) and Baft Steel Company with 113,784 tons (up 315% YOY).
Iran’s total DRI output in the second month of the year to May 20 grew 18% year-on-year to 2.92 million tons.
Iran was the second biggest DRI producer in the world with 27.73 million tons in 2019, registering a 7.7% year-on-year growth.
India, Iran's primary rival in DRI output, increased its 12-month production by 7.7% YOY to 36.85 million tons.
The country has been working to increase its iron ore processing capacity, including both DRI and hot-briquetted iron production to feed its steelmaking expansion target.
IMIDRO expects DRI production capacity to reach 37.2 million tons by the fiscal yearend, while the actual production is estimated to reach 33.6 million tons to utilize 90% of its nameplate capacity.
An IMIDRO report on development of under-construction DRI production units shows a total of 11 million tons are expected to be added to Iran’s production capacity by the time the construction of all these units is complete in the fiscal 2023-24.
Located in Ghaen County, South Khorasan Province, Ghaenat Steel Company will have 800,000 tons per year of production capacity upon completion. It is expected to become operational by the end of this year (March 2021).
Iran Ghaltak Company's production capacity will hit 70,000 tons per year upon completion. Located in Isfahan province, the project is also expected to be launched by the fiscal yearend.
Bafgh Iron and Steel Company, located in Yazd Province, is slated to become operational in the fiscal 2021-22. It will have the capacity to produce 800,000 tons of DRI per year upon completion.
Kavand Nahan Zamin, located in Kerman Province, will have 0.5 million tons per year in production capacity by the end of the fiscal 2021-22.
Also coming on stream in the fiscal 2021-22, Behnavard Steel Complex in Yazd will have a production capacity of 500,000 million tons per year upon completion.
The development of Butia Iranian Steel Company in Kerman will add 1.8 million tons to the capacity of DRI production. It is expected to be inaugurated in the fiscal 2022-23.
In the same year, Bisotoun Steel located in Harsin, the capital of Harsin County in Kermanshah Province, is also expected to be completed. The production capacity of this unit will reach 150,000 tons per year.
The first phase of Mokran DRI Plant in Chabahar, capital of Chabahar County, Sistan-Baluchestan Province, is due to be completed in the fiscal 2023-24 similar to Torbat Steel Complex in the capital of Torbat-e Heydarieh County, Khorasan Razavi Province. The former will add 1.6 million tons per year to the capacity of Iran's DRI production and the latter's capacity will hit 1.8 million tons per year upon completion.
Iran is the engineer of the so-called 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, which makes optimum use of energy and raw materials, reduces production costs with the added advantage of being more environment friendly compared to other direct reduction methods.
There are generally three methods for DRI production: HYL process, presently marketed under Energiron trademark, jointly developed by Tenova and Danieli; MIDREX Process patented by Midrex Technologies Inc. along with its parent company Kobe Steel Ltd; in addition to PERED.
The replacement of MIDREX and Energiron with PERED cuts the production costs by cutting on the required initial investment and operational cost, in addition to being more eco-friendly.