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EghtesadOnline: Iran recorded the highest growth in the production of direct reduced iron during the first three quarters of 2020 (January-September).

A total of 22.18 million tons of DRI, also known as sponge iron, were produced in Iran during the period to register a 5.2% growth compared to the corresponding period of 2019, the latest report released by the World Steel Association shows.

The country is now the second biggest DRI producer in the world, overtaken by its primary rival, India, which produced a total of 23.6 million tons (down 13% year-on-year) during the period under review, according to the Brussels-based international trade body for the iron and steel industry.

The world’s total DRI output in the first nine months of 2020 stood at 61.9 million tons to witness a 10.1% decline YOY.

Other major DRI producers in the world were Saudi Arabia with 3.9 tons (down 13.4 YOY), Egypt with 3.7 tons (up 1.4% YOY), Mexico with 3.7 tons (down 16.8 YOY), the UAE with 2.149 tons (down 21.2% YOY), Canada with 766 tons (down 32.1% YOY), Qatar with 638 tons (down 63.8% YOY), Libya with 519 tons (down 13.4% YOY), Argentina with 358 tons (down 55.4% YOY), Venezuela with 219 tons (down 36.2% YOY) and South Africa with 120 tons (down 79.7% YOY).

Mobarakeh Steel Company, located in Isfahan Province, is Iran's biggest producer of sponge iron. MSC is the biggest steel producer in Iran and the wider Middle East and North Africa region.



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 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 new 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 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, Sistan-Baluchestan Province, is 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.


Growth Output Iran Production