EghtesadOnline: Iranian aluminum producers had an aggregate output of 65,170 tons of aluminum ingots during the first two months of the current Iranian year (March 20-May 20) to register a 58% growth compared with the corresponding period of last year, the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization's latest report shows.
Flagship producer Iran Aluminum Company (IRALCO) accounted for 31,984 tons of the total output, posting a 4% rise year-on-year, Fars News Agency reported.
It was followed by Hormozal Aluminum Company with 13,537 tons, up 163% YOY; Almahdi Aluminum Company with 11,881 tons, up 128% YOY; South Aluminum Company (SALCO) with 4,493 tons, registering no significant change YOY and Iran Alumina Company with 3,275 tons, showing a 799% upsurge.
The output during the month to May 20 amounted to 33,644 tons, indicating a 61% rise YOY.
Iran Alumina Company produced 41,699 tons of alumina powder during the two-month period, up 6% compared with the similar period of last year.
The company’s output of alumina powder totaled 20,800 during the month ending May 20, showing no significant change YOY.
South Aluminum Corporation (SALCO) located in the city of Lamerd, Fars Province, was inaugurated in April.
The project will boost Iran’s aluminum production capacity to 785,000 tons per year once all its development phases come on stream, according to former industries minister, Reza Rahmani.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Rahmani said, “The factory has come with a price tag of over $1.2 billion. Cutting-edge technology has been incorporated into the project and the development of the project is in line with environmental concerns."
Once fully operational, SALCO will create a total of 6,500 direct and indirect jobs.
The company’s shares are owned by two companies. Ghadir Investment Company owns 51% and the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) owns the rest.
The factory is set to produce a wide range of aluminum products, including sheets, profiles, ingots, doors, windows and composites, as well as nuts and bolts.
Rahmani later told IRIB News that Iran is currently the world’s 18th biggest aluminum producer and with the inauguration of this project as well as Jajarm Aluminum Complex located in Jajarm County (North Khorasan Province), which came on stream a few months earlier, the ranking will ascend to 14th place.
Jajarm Aluminum Complex became operational in July 2019 with an investment of about $150 million, creating 400 direct and 1,600 indirect jobs.
SALCO will 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 ultimate production capacity is to reach 1 million tons of aluminum ingots and billets per year.
SALCO intends to become Iran’s biggest aluminum producer and the fourth major producer in the Middle East.
Iranian aluminum producers had an aggregate output of 275,716 tons of aluminum ingots during the last Iranian year that ended on March 19, 2020, which indicate an 8% decrease compared with last year's corresponding period, IMIDRO's latest report shows.
The combined nominal capacity of Iran Aluminum Company (IRALCO) located in Arak (Markazi Province), Almahdi Aluminum Company located in Bandar Abbas (Hormozgan Province), Hormozal Aluminum Company also in Bandar Abbas and 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.
According to Shahriar Taherpour, a former managing director of the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran, 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 per capita rates of 23 and 27 kilograms respectively.
The Iranian 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 issues facing producers.
Plans are underway to connect aluminum production units to railroads and explore new bauxite mines in order to reduce costs.