Iran boosting iron ore pellet production capacity

Platts – Iran’s largest steel producer, Mobarakeh Steel Co (MSC), has completed installation of a new 5 million mt/year iron ore pelletizing plant in Sangan, northeastern Iran, and is ready to start commissioning after the final testing within next few days, according to a company statement.

Another project of MSC a 5 million mt/year iron ore concentrating plant also in the northeast of Iran is expected to be completed by March 2018. Some IRR 11,500 trillion (about $306 million) has been invested by MSC for the pelletizing project, managing director Bahram Sobhani said in the statement Monday.

MSC used to import a portion of its pellet requirements, but these have been halted for a year. Pellets are currently supplied by domestic producers.

Iranian companies produced some 25.8 million mt of iron ore pellets in the last Iranian year (to March 20 2017), but the capacity is expected to increase to about 42 million mt/year up to March 2018, according to Imidro — the state-owned holding company active in Iran’s mining sector.

MSC recently increased its steelmaking capacity to 9.45 million mt/year from last year’s 7.65 million mt, after launching a new casting machine which raised output at its main plant, in Isfahan, to 7.2 million mt/year.

The company is also increasing capacity at Saba Steel, its affiliated thin-slab strip producer in Isfahan, to 1.6 million mt/year from 750,000 mt/year, which will increase MSC’s overall nominal capacity to 10.3 million mt/year, according to the company.