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EghtesadOnline: Close to 12.86 million tons of direct reduced iron were produced in Iran during the first five months of the current fiscal year (March 20-Aug. 21) to register an 8% 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 3.2 million tons (up 3% YOY).

It was followed by Khuzestan Steel Company with 1. 9 million tons (up 12% YOY), Golgohar with 1.17 million tons, Chadormalu Steel Company with 707,095 tons (up 13% YOY), Hormozgan Steel Company with 692,173 tons (up 2% YOY), South Kaveh Steel Company with 670,299 tons (up 7% YOY), Saba Steel Complex with 572,956 tons (up 19% YOY), Khorasan Steel Company with 489,208 tons, Sirjan Jahan Steel Company with 427,964 tons (up 39%), Mianeh Steel Complex with 346,115 tons (up 55% YOY) and Arfa Steel Company with 340,756 tons (up 5% YOY).

Other major DRI producers included Sefiddasht Steel Company with 325,058 tons (up 10% YOY), Neyriz Steel Complex with 320,963 tons (up 14% YOY), Shadegan Steel Complex with 310,599 tons (up 28% YOY), Baft Steel Company with 300,468 tons (up 138% YOY), Sabzevar Steel Company with 270,114 tons (down 10% YOY), Ghadir Iron and Steel Company with 251,464 tons (down 22% YOY) and Middle East Mines and Mining Industries Development Holding Company with 246,147 tons (down 15% YOY).

Iran’s total DRI output in the fifth month of the current fiscal year to Aug. 21 declined 5% year-on-year to 2.27 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 Steel Report

Iran is now the world’s top DRI producer, as it produced a total of 12.07 million tons of DRI in January-May 2020 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 WSA report shows Iran has overtaken its primary rival, India, which produced 11.01 million tons (down 27.1% YOY) 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% YOY 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 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 the current fiscal 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 Plant in Harsin, the capital of Harsin County, Kermanshah Province, is expected to be completed. The annual production capacity of this plant 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.


Output Iran Iron produced