A consortium of Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (Imidro) and five companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to create a 10 million tonnes/year crude steelmaking group.
The move represents a clear step forward for the long-touted plan to consolidate steelmakers based in the Persian Gulf Special Economic Zone (PGSEZ) in Bandar Abbas on Iran’s south coast. The plan was initially envisaged to create economies of scale, cutting the companies’ production costs and increasing competitiveness on export markets (see Kallanish passim).
“Imidro’s policy is to develop large industries by the sea,” Imidro chairman Khodadad Gharibpour said during the MoU singing. Governor General of Hormozgan Province Fereydoun Hemmati added: “The pooling of small units and the development of large-scale units is a plan that was implemented in China and brought significant gains to the country.” The formation of a consortium in large industrial and mineral projects could help mitigate the effect of economic sanctions, he added.
Besides Imidro, the other signatories to the agreement are merchant slab producer Hormozgan Steel and hot strip maker Saba Steel, both Mobarakeh Steel subsidiaries, and merchant billet maker South Kaveh Steel. Also included are iron ore pelletiser Maadkoush Pelletizing Complex and iron ore miner Gol Gohar.
The current crude steelmaking capacity in PGSEZ is 5-5.5m t/y, which will be more or less doubled by the new consortium by 2025. The PGSEZ’s role will be to provide electricity and water for the expansion.