Iran to add 336,000 mt/year of aluminum capacity in 2018: IMIDRO

Platts– Iran plans to add 336,000 mt/year of primary aluminum smelting capacity in 2018, the planning manager of state-owned mining holding company IMIDRO, Amir Sabagh, told S&P Global Platts last week.

South Aluminum Co. or Salco is building a 300,000 mt/year unit in Asaluyeh, a natural gas hub in Bushehr province, which is expected to start production in late 2018, he said. That project is financed by China’s NFC, or China Nonferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering and Construction Co.

Iran Alumina Co, or Iralco, is also boosting its aluminum capacity in the Jajarm region by 36,000 mt/year in 2018, he said.

Iran has a current aluminum nameplate capacity of 457,000 mt/year, of which about 437,000 mt/year is operational. Iralco can produce 220,000 mt/year and Almahdi Hormozal Aluminum Co. 237,000 mt/year. Both have some idled capacity due to issues with pollution.

The country’s only alumina plant is a 250,000 mt/year unit in Jajarm owned by Iralco.

IMIDRO is discussing with Chinese interests a 2 million mt/year alumina project in Asaluyeh, for which no timeline has been announced. The plant is expected to use bauxite from Conakry in Guinea. Iran has an agreement to import 4 million mt/year of bauxite from Guinea until 2040.

In the first five months of the current Iranian fiscal year (April-August), Iran produced 101,520 mt of alumina and 128,679 mt of aluminum, and imported 201,122 mt of alumina and 8,299 mt of bauxite, according to data from the customs office.