EghtesadOnline: The upstream steel industry registered growth in the production of iron ore concentrate and pellet during the first six months of the current fiscal year (March 21-Sept. 22) compared with last year’s corresponding period, latest data released by the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization showed.
The IMIDRO report takes into account the output of major producers, hence the overall production should be higher than the figures quoted here.
Iron Ore Concentrate
A total of 25.52 million tons of iron ore concentrate were produced during the six months under review, registering a 4% increase compared with the same period of last year.
According to IMIDRO, Golgohar Mining and Industrial Complex had the highest share of the output by producing 8.38 million tons. The figure is 3% higher than the same period of last year.
Chadormalu Mining and Industrial Complex came next with 6.16 million tons (up 11% YOY), followed by Middle East Mines and Mining Industries Development Holding Company with 2.79 million tons (down 17% YOY) and Goharzamin Iron Ore Company with 2.38 million tons (up 8% YoY) of output during the six-month period.
Other major producers included Iran Central Iron Ore Company with 1.99 million tons (down 4% YOY), Opal Parsian Sangan with 1.22 million tons (up 8% YOY) and SIMIDCO with 1.13 tons (down 10%).
Iron ore concentrate output during the sixth Iranian month (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) amounted to 4.32 million tons, registering a 2% growth compared with the same period of last year.
Golgohar Mining and Industrial Complex was the leading producer during the month, solely accounting for 1.16 million tons of the monthly output. Chadormalu Mining and Industrial Complex followed with 1.03 million tons of monthly output.
The pellet output of major steel mills reached 23.86 million tons during the period, posting a growth of 4% compared with the same period of the previous year.
Golgohar was again the largest producer with 6.08 million tons (down 4% YOY), followed by Mobarakeh Steel Company with 3.59 million tons (down 6% YOY), MIDHCO with 2.93 million tons (down 12% YOY), Khouzestan Steel Company with 2.76 million tons (down 12%) and Sangan Khorasan Steel Company with 2.02 million tons (up 47%).
Other major pellet producers included Opal Parsian Sangan with 1.77 million tons (up 10% YOY), Chadormalu with 1.71 million tons (down 9% YOY) and Khorasan Steel Company with 665,626 tons (down 20% YOY).
Pellet production witnessed a 6% year-on-year increase during the sixth month of the Iranian year to 4.39 million tons, IMIDRO’s data show.
Golgohar had the lion’s share with 1.06 million tons of pellet output in the month under review.
The production of direct-reduced iron stood at 14.53 million tons during the first six months of the fiscal year, down 6% YOY.
Mobarakeh accounted for the largest share of the output with 3.44 million tons (down 12% YOY), followed by KSC with 1.59 million tons (down 22% YOY), Hormozgan Steel Company with 840,581 tons (down 1% YOY), South Kaveh Steel Company with 815,672 tons (down 2% YOY) and Chadormalu Steel Company with 814,607 tons.
DRI production reached 2.38 million tons during the sixth month of the current fiscal year, indicating an 11% decline YOY.
Mobarakeh Steel Company produced 582,482 tons of DRI to lead the market during the sixth month of the fiscal year. MSC's monthly output registered a 16% decline, year-on-year.
DRI, also known as sponge iron, 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.
Iran and India are the world’s biggest producers of direct reduced iron. The former recently launched the first indigenous DRI plant in China.
MME (Mines and Metals Engineering GmbH), an Iranian engineering company registered in Germany has designed, implemented and set up the first DRI production plant in the world's largest steel producer using the "Persian Reduction" method or PERED.
China, which ranks first in the world in steel production, mainly produces the energy-intensive DRI by blast furnace method, but now with the aim of overcoming environmental challenges and using Iranian technical and engineering capabilities, the country has turned to PERED.
Using MME’s production technology, service and equipment, the company aims to increase its iron ore processing productivity and reduce emissions.
MME Managing Director Morteza Aqajani has enumerated PERED’s superior aspects to other iron reduction methods, in an article published on Iran Steel Producers Association’s news agency Chilanonline.com.
In PERED, the reduction process is more efficient, employs improved cooling methods and cuts polluting gas emissions. With less heat, more homogeneous reducing gas, more controllable pellet feed and use of centrifugal compressors, PERED requires less water, electricity and gas to operate, alongside less operational and maintenance costs.
PERED technology, which makes optimum use of energy and raw materials, reduces production costs with the added advantage of being more environment-friendly compared to other direct reduction methods.
According to MME’s website, PERED can produce cold and hot DRI, Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) and combinations of all three.
Speaking to Financial Tribune in an exclusive interview in 2018, the engineering manager of MME, Hossein Aziztaemeh, explained that the contract with CSTM to import the Iranian technology was signed on May 13, 2013. However, the implementation of the project was delayed over the years due to several reasons.
"The Chinese did not find production of direct-reduced iron economically viable, but things changed after the Chinese government imposed heavy taxes on ‘unclean’ industries," he said.
Therefore, they decided to move toward cleaner industries, as they seemed more viable.
The project was launched on June 21 in Taiyuan, the capital and largest city of Shanxi Province of China with a production capacity of 300,000 tons of HBI per year.
The furnace in this plant has been directly designed by MME and part of its main equipment was manufactured in Iran and exported to China.