Mianeh sponge iron plant to be launched today
Iran will launch Mianeh sponge iron plant with an annual capacity of 800,000 tons in East Azarbaijan Province today. Announcing this, Rasoul Ahmadzadeh, manager of the plant, said that the plant will convert pellets made from iron ore into sponge iron, using the indigenized Persian Reduction (PERED) method, imidro.gov.ir reported.
The official said that the plant, which was constructed at a cost of $70 million, will create 250 direct and 750 indirect job opportunities.
Ahmadzadeh put the average purity of Mianeh sponge iron at 95 percent adding that 97-percent pure sponge iron is also to be produced in the complex.
He added that about 300 domestic firms have contributed to the construction of Mianeh plant.
PERED, jointly developed by Iran and Germany, is a direct reduction process converting iron oxides, in the form of pellets or lump ore, to highly reduced product suitable for steel making.
The project is being implemented under the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracting arrangement with the aim of providing feedstock for Iran’s steel mills.
The owner of the project is the Organization for Development and Renovation of Mining and Mining Industries of Iran (IMIDRO) which is also in charge of sourcing equipment from domestic companies in line with the policy of creating jobs and preventing capital flight.
Steel is a strategic commodity for Iran, which is also the Middle East’s biggest carmaker. It is fundamental to the Iranian society with its massive oil and gas industry, transportation network, water supply, urban centers and mammoth construction.
Steel was Iran’s largest export item after oil, gas and petrochemicals last year, partly because of the slump in domestic construction.
The country has been boosting steel production, targeting an output plateau of 55 million tons per year by 2015. Currently, Iran produces nearly 18 million tons, which is one percent of the global total. An IMIDRO statement says exports are expected to reach 2025 million tons by 2025.
Iran’s biggest mill is Mobarakeh Steel Company which produces 7.2 million tons of steel per year. The country exported four million tons of steel last year, according to IMIDRO Director Mehdi Karbasian.
Italian steel firm Danieli has signed commercial agreements valued at $5.7 billion with Iran, including a joint venture, called Persian Metallics, worth $2 billion.