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EghtesadOnline: More than 10.58 million tons of direct reduced iron were produced in Iran during the first four months of the current fiscal year (March 20-July 21) to register an 11% rise compared with last year’s similar period.

Latest data released by the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) show Mobarakeh Steel Company accounted for the largest share of output with 2.64 million tons (up 3% YOY).

It was followed by Khuzestan Steel Company with 1.59 million tons (up 16% YOY), Golgohar with 1.05 million tons, Chadormalu Steel Company with 559,622 tons (up 17% YOY), Hormozgan Steel Company with 546,228 tons (up 2% YOY), South Kaveh Steel Company with 531,553 tons (up 8% YOY), Saba Steel Complex with 465,537 tons (up 32% YOY), Khorasan Steel Company with 371,153 tons, Sirjan Jahan Steel Company (SJSC) with 345,977 tons (up 52%), Mianeh Steel Complex with 275,891 tons (up 76% YOY) and Arfa Steel Company with 265,476 tons (up 1% YOY).

Other major DRI producers included Baft Steel Company with 263,910 tons (up 211% YOY), Sefiddasht Steel Company with 261,001 tons (down 3% YOY), Neyriz Steel Complex with 253,478 tons (up 10% YOY), Ghadir Iron and Steel Company with 251,464 tons (unchanged YOY), Shadegan Steel Complex with 250,399 tons (up 34% YOY), Persian Gulf Saba Steel with 235,497 tons, Sabzevar Steel Company with 231,277 tons (up 1% YOY), and Middle East Mines and Mining Industries Development Holding Company with 179,825 tons (down 34% YOY).

Iran’s total DRI output in the fourth month of the current fiscal year to July 21 grew 6% year-on-year to 2.36 million tons.

Also known as sponge iron, DRI is produced from direct reduction of iron ore in the form of lumps, pellets or fines by a reducing gas. It can be processed to create wrought iron.



World's Biggest DRI Producer

Iran is now the world’s top DRI producer, as it produced a total of 12.07 million tons of DRI in the first five months of 2020 (January to May) to register a 3.47% growth compared with the corresponding period of 2019, according to the latest report released by World Steel Association (the Brussels-based international trade body for the iron and steel industry).

The World Steel report shows Iran has overtaken its primary rival, India, which produced 11.01 million tons (down 27.1% year-on-year) during the period under review to become the biggest DRI producer in the world. 

Iran was also the world’s biggest DRI producer in May when output grew 7.61% year-on-year to reach 2.7 million tons last month.

In fact, the output accounted for about half of the global production (5.62 million tons) during the month. 

India was next with 1.5 million tons, followed by Egypt at 462 tons, Mexico 390 tons, Saudi Arabia 342 tons, the UAE 151 tons, Libya 48 tons, Qatar 14 tons and Venezuela 10 tons.



Expansion Plans

Iran has been striving to increase its iron ore processing capacity, including both DRI and hot-briquetted iron production to feed its steelmaking expansion.

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.

It expects DRI production capacity to reach 37.2 million tons by the end of the current fiscal year (March 2021). Actual production is estimated to reach 33.6 million tons.

An IMIDRO report on development of under-construction DRI production units shows 11 million tons are expected to be added to production capacity by the time the construction of all news units is complete in the fiscal 2023-24.

Located in Qaen County, South Khorasan Province, Ghaenat Steel Company will produce 800,000 tons a year upon completion. It is expected to become operational by the end of this year (March 2021).

Iran Ghaltak Company production capacity will hit 70,000 tons upon completion. Located in Isfahan province, the project is also expected to be launched by the yearend.

Bafgh Iron and Steel Company in Yazd Province is slated to become operational in the fiscal 2021-22. It will have a production capacity of 800,000 tons of DRI per year.

Kavand Nahan Zamin in Kerman Province will have a production capacity of 0.5 million tons per year by March 2021.

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 Iran's DRI production. It is expected to be inaugurated in 2022.

In the same year, Bisotoun Steel in Harsin, the capital of Harsin County, Kermanshah Province, is expected to be completed. The annual production capacity of this unit will reach 150,000 tons.

The first phase of Makran 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 to domestic DRI production and the latter's capacity will reach 1.8 million tons.


Iran Iron DRI Output