EghtesadOnline: Iran's import of aluminum sheets, plates and strips during 2018-19 reached 8,898 tons worth $14.44 million and is expected to reach 6,241 tons worth $12.26 million in 2020.
However, when the import volume and expenditure for 2020 are added to the preceding two years, it amounts to 15,139 tons valued at $26.70 million respectively, AlCircle reported.
Iran’s import of aluminum sheets, plates and strips in 2018 stood at 3,242 tons and foreign revenue expenditure accounted for $7.53 million, whereas, in 2019, the import reflected growth by 74.46%, while the expenditure dropped and remained at $6.91 million.
The import for 2020 has also been marked with growth by 10.34%, as the import is expected to reach 6,241 tons worth $12.26 million.
Iran’s major trading destinations for the import of aluminum sheets, plates and strips include China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Slovenia and Turkey.
H1 Production Rises 71% YOY
According to latest data released by the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO), Iranian aluminum producers had an aggregate output of 211,779 tons of ingots during the first half of the current Iranian year (March 20-Sept. 22) to register a 71% rise compared with the corresponding period of last year's 123,576 tons.
Flagship producer Iran Aluminum Company (IRALCO) accounted for the highest volume of the total output with 95,723 tons, up 7.47% year-on-year.
IRALCO is the top producer of aluminum in Iran. The plant, inaugurated in 1972, has an annual production capacity of 180,000.
It was followed by Hormozal Aluminum Company with 45,444 tons, up 166% YOY; Almahdi Aluminum Company with 33,988 tons, with an annual growth of 133%; South Aluminum Company (SALCO) with 25,379 tons and Iran Alumina Company with 11,227 tons.
The overall output during the month ending Sept. 21 amounted to 36,025 tons, indicating an 84% rise YOY.
Iran Alumina Company produced 121,691 tons of alumina powder during the six-month period, up 4% compared with the similar period of last year.
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 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 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 Gives Major Boost to Production
Located in the city of Lamerd, Fars Province, SALCO was inaugurated in April.
According to 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 over $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 concerns."
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, with Ghadir Investment Company owning 51% and IMIDRO owning 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.