The establishment of iron and
steel plants in Iran has been in the mind of the country’s government since the
early decade of the 20th century. The first serious attempt was made in late
1930s with the assistance of German companies. But the outbreak of the World War
II brought the construction works to standstill and the project was never
Almost two decades after the World War II due to recovery in economic situation
and increasing demand for steel products, the establishing of a steel plant was
brought up again.
At this juncture a rolling mill was erected by private sector, INSIG (Iran
National Steel Industries Group) to produce structural steel by rolling imported
semi-finished steel products. INSIG also constructed a steel making shop
(Electric Arc Furnace and continuous casting) to produce semis by melting steel
Parallel with the private sector's activities, an inter-governmental contract
was concluded between the governments of USSR and Iran to transfer the natural
gas from Iran to the former USSR. In exchange for heavy industry, a steel making
shop with annual capacity of 550,000 tons in Esfahan was included.
For this purpose, National Iranian Steel Corporation was established for
construction of the plant and mobilization of the relevant mines such as iron
ore, coking coal, limestone, refractory , etc. The plant was successfully
commissioned and came into operation in 1971.
Subsequently, a contract for expansion of Esfahan Steel Plant to a capacity of
1.9 million tons/year of structural steel was signed with the previous supplier.
After a few years of operation, both the private sector furnaces and Esfahan
Steel Plant were facing some problems such as shortage of scrap and quality
These two problems on one side, and the following aspects on the other side:
-Increasing domestic demand for Iron and steel,
-Huge available resources of natural gas and required raw materials, in
particular, iron ore,
-Relative Iranian expertise in iron and steel industry,
-Introduction of new methods of Direct Reduction Process in industrial and
contributed to establishment of another state-owned company under the title of
National Iranian Steel Industries Company (NISCO) in mid-1970 to produce iron
and steel products by utilizing Direct Reduction process as well as to mobilize
the relevant iron ore mines.
To accomplish this, two contracts were signed between NISCO and foreign
companies to construct two integrated steel mills in Bandar Abbas and Ahvaz and
a heavy rolling mill in Ahvaz.
After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, fundamental changes took place in the
Iranian Steel Industry Organization. The two state-owned companies were merged
and NISCO affiliated to the former Ministry of Mine and Metals and Ministry of
Industry and Mine was established.
NISCO is directing and supervising the Iranian steel industry from exploration
stage of its relevant raw materials up to marketing its products in domestic and
NISCO established an integrated
steel mill, the Ahvaz Steel Complex, and a hot rolled plate producer, the Kavian
Heavy Plate Mill, in Ahvaz , Khouzestan province in the south west of Iran. By
year 1994, the 2 companies had merged to form "Khouzestan Steel Company".
In order to satisfy the demand in hot and cold rolled coils, NISCO established
an integrated steel complex, the Mobarakeh Steel Company, in Isfahan which
started production in year 1992 with an annual capacity of raw steel of 2.5
million tons. Mobarakeh's capacity stands today at close to 3.5 million tons per
year and is expected to reach 4.5 million tons once all the expansion projects
are in place.
Today, Iran's steel output stands at close to 8 million tons per year, 1.2
million tons of which is produced by the private sector. This is still well
below the annual consumption level of 13 to 14 million tons. That's why the
industry has seen a surge in the level of imports which stood at over 3 million
tons for the first 6 months of the current year. This figure shows a 119 percent
increase over the figure for the same period last year.
As a result of the shortage, many new and expansion projects are in place in
order to fill the gap. Here are some of the more notable ones:
1- The Hormozgan Steel Complex near Bandar Abbas: A consortium led by SMS
Demag, has signed an agreement with NISCO to build a mill to produce over 1.5
million tons of slab in addition to a lime calcining plant. Another contract for
a Direct Reduction plant has been signed with the German-registered Mines &
2- The expansion phase of Esfahan Steel Co., the Saba Steel Complex, to
produce over 700,000 (seven hundred thousand) tons/year of hot rolled coils: It
has successfully been commissioned and is currently in its testing phase.
3- The Tin Plate Unit at Mobarakeh: This unit was inaugurated in September
2003 by president Khatami and is expected to reach its full capacity of 200,000
(two hundred thousand) tons/year in year 2004.
4- The pelletizing plant in Sirjan:
Nisco has signed an agreement with Germany's Lurgi regarding building a 4
million tons-a-year pelletizing plant in Sirjan to be run by Gol-e Gohar Iron
5- The Chador Malu Pelletising Plant:
A Japanese consortium led by Kobe Steel, has signed a contract to supply Chador
Malu Mining and Industrial Company equipment for a new 3.4 million tons/year
iron ore pelletising plant in Ardakan, Yazd Province.
6- Tinplate Complex in Tabriz:
Danieli, the Italian steel mill manufacturer, is planning to participate in the
construction of a 200,000 (two hundred thousand) tons/year tinplate mill in
Steel Pipe and Profile Industry
One of the biggest consumers of steel coils and plates is the pipe and profile
industry. This industry currently consists of over 90 companies with a total
production capacity of 1,920,000 (One million, nine hundred and twenty,
thousand) tons per year.
Saveh Rolling & Profile Mills with an annual capacity of 1,200,000 (one million
two hundred thousand) tons, has not only the largest market share but the most
variety of pipes and profiles manufactured in Iran. It is also the largest
Iranian exporter of pipes and profiles to every corner of the world.
As the largest state-owned steel company in the Middle East, NISCO ranked 26 in
the table of the world’s major steel producing companies in 1999 and 2000. NISCO
is also a regular member of the International Iron & Steel Institute.
During the Iraq imposed war, the steel industry development lost its impetus to
some extent. However, immediately after the cease-fire and implementation of the
First & Second Five-Year Economic, Social & Cultural Development Plans of the
country, the steel industry achieved a considerable growth. It is worth
mentioning that the steel production volume, which didn’t exceed an annual one
million tons in 1988, reached 6.3 million tons in 1999 and 6.6 million tons in
Considering the country’s rich energy resources, raw materials, human resources
and available technological capabilities, there is an appropriate background in
investing in steel industry of the country. NISCO’s current installed capacity
is 8 million tons per annum and necessary measures have been taken to increase
the capacity to 10 million tons a year.
Further study is underway to expand the capacity up to 14.7 and later to 18.4
million tones per year. This company has also taken significant steps toward
upgrading the quality of its products and improving the management system with
due consideration to environmental protection and better working conditions.
Source: Presentation by Saveh Rolling & Profile Mills - December 2003
Esfahan Steel Company
Khouzestan Oxin Steel Company
Khuzestan Steel Company
Mobarakeh Steel Company
National Iranian Steel Company
Yazd Alloy Steel Company
Iran Mining Projects and Advantages
Chador Malu Mining and Industrial Company
Sangan Iron Ore Complex
Sirjan Iron Ore Complex
Persian Gulf Mining and Metal Industries Special Economic Zone
Iran Steel Comprehensive Plan – 2025
Iran Iron Ore Reserves Map
DRI Production Forecast - 2025
Iran Iron Ore Production / Exports – 2009-2014
Iron Ore Pellet Production Forecast in Iran - 2025
Iran Iron Ore Concentrate Production Forecast - 2025
Iran Pelletizing Capacity - 2013-2020
Iran's Mining Sector
Iran's Steel Expansion Plans 2005 - 2010
Steel Trade Between Iran and India - 2001-2010
Khouzestan Steel Company
Middle East Mines & Mineral Industries Development Holding Company
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