EghtesadOnline: Iranian aluminum producers had an aggregate output of 175,000 tons of ingots during the first five months of the current Iranian year (March 20- Aug. 21) to register a 70% hike compared with the corresponding period of last year.
According to the latest data released by the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization, flagship producer Iran Aluminum Company (IRALCO) accounted for about 80,000 tons (45%) of the total output, posting a 6% rise year-on-year.
IRALCO is the top producer of aluminum in Iran. The plant, inaugurated in 1972, has an annual output capacity of 180,000.
It was followed by Hormozal Aluminum Company and Almahdi Aluminum Company, which had an aggregate output of 66,000 tons, up 160% YOY, and Iran Alumina Company with 9,000 tons of aluminum production, up 307% YOY.
Total output during the month stood at 36,220 tons, indicating a 77.66% growth YOY.
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, to register an 8% decrease compared with the year before.
According to Shahriyar 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 some of the problems facing producers.
Plans are underway to connect aluminum production units to railroads and explore new bauxite mines to reduce costs.
Iran’s aluminum production capacity is projected to reach 1.3 million tons per year, once several ongoing projects become operational.
New Plant to Give Major Boost to Production
South Aluminum Corporation (SALCO) located in the city of Lamerd, Fars Province, was inaugurated in April.
According to the former industries minister, Reza Rahmani, the project will boost Iran’s aluminum production capacity to 785,000 tons per year, once all its development phases come on stream.
“The factory has come with a price tag of $1.2 billion,” he had said at the inaugural ceremony.
"Cutting-edge technology has been incorporated into the project and the development of the project is in line with environmental standards."
Once fully operational, SALCO will create a total of 6,500 direct and indirect jobs, Fars News Agency reported.
The company’s shares are owned by two companies: Ghadir Investment Company owns 51% and IMIDRO owns the rest.
The factory is set to produce a range of aluminum products, including sheets, profiles, ingots, doors, windows, composites, nuts and bolts.
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 final production capacity is to reach 1 million tons of aluminum ingots and billets per year.
SALCO is looking to become Iran’s biggest aluminum producer and the fourth major producer in the Middle East.
The combined nominal capacity of 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.