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Foreign Investment Necessary for Development of Steel Industry
2004 May 13

Without foreign investment, the materialization of growth indexes projected for the steel industry in the third and fourth Five-Year Development Plan will be unattainable. A planning and development official of the National Iranian Steel Company said that the goals predicted for the development of the steel industry seem to be ambitious concerning the nominal growth projected unless there are further initiatives for foreign investment in this field. Abdollah Azizi added that one of the objectives of the Third Five-Year Development Plan is to increase the country’s steel production capacity to 12.5 million tons; this objective cannot however be achieved during the Third Development Plan since the country is already into the last nine months of this Third Development Plan. He explained that at the moment reaching the 12.5 million per annum production level, the end objective of Third Development Plan for the steel industry, would take at least three years. The production plan for the steel industry stands at 9 million tons for the current Iranian year 1383 (March 20, 2004- March 19, 2005) and it is projected that the volume of production will hit 9.5 million tons next (Iranian) year.

Steel Products Market to Become Stable
2004 May 12

With efforts by the government and the regulation board and their support of the steel stock exchange, it is expected that the steel market will experience less fluctuation in the near future. A mines and industry ministry spokesman in an interview with Mehr News agency said, “Meetings of the regulation board charged with balancing the steel market, headed by First Vice President Mohammad Reza Aref convened on May 9. The performance of the Steel Stock Exchange was assessed as positive.” Es’haq Jahangiri added that at the meetings reports on the global steel market index, the trend of domestic steel prices, steel development projects and the function of steel stock were delivered. He stressed the helpful role of the steel stock exchange, stating that according to reports, it has resulted in more price transparency, a facilitation of good relations between buyers and sellers. Although the price of steel has increased drastically, steel stocks have helped control the price increase in the domestic market, adding that this alleviated further depression in the country’s construction sector.

Iran Aluminum Production Increases
2004 May 8

  Aluminum production is expected to reach 180,000 tons for the current Iranian calendar year of 1382 (March 20, 2003-March 20, 2004) and it is projected that the figure will rise to 750,000 tons per annum by 2011. The manager responsible for nonferrous metals at the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization (IDRO) said that Iran accounts for 0.7% of the world’s aluminum production. Majid Ghodarzi added that Iran produced 168,000 tons of aluminum in the previous year. Pointing to the projects in progress as well as the long-term and medium-term plans that are being implemented, Ghodarzi predicted that the upward trend in aluminum production in Iran will continue. He said that Iran has skilled workers with technical expertise and has more experience in aluminum production than its regional competitors since it has been involved in the industry longer than neighboring countries. He went on to say that aluminum is currently being produced at the Arak Complex, which was established in the early 1970s, and the Al Mahdi Complex, which was established about 6 years ago. He said that the current production capacity of the Arak Aluminum Complex is 120,000 tons per annum and the figure stands at 60,000 tons per annum for the Al Mahdi Complex. He noted that $700 million and Rls.1.02 billion has been invested in aluminum production projects. He added that it is projected that the production capacity of the industry will hit 750,000 tons per year by 2011 and eventually rise to 1.5 million tons per year according to the aluminum industry ten-year development plan. He expressed hope that the modernization of the Arak Aluminum Complex and the completion of Phase 1 and the implementation of phases 2 and 3 of the Al Mahdi Aluminum Complex would increase the aluminum production capacity of the country in the near future.

Renovation Needed in Refractories Industry
2004 April 26

  Supplying raw materials and inexpert designing as well as lack of domestic technical know-how for manufacturing industrial furnaces, all the aforementioned are considered as the main obstacles for development of refractory industry, the managing director of Pars Refractory Products' Co., Eng. Roshanfekr announced. According to the Public Relations Dept. of Iran University of Science and Technology, refractory can be considered as a layer and lining for wall of industrial furnaces which plays a key role in development of parent industries such as steel, petrochemical, cement, etc. He also pointed to other problems hindering development of refractory industry such as lack of raw materials, renovation of related machinery, insufficient presenting after-sales services, lack of liquidity, insufficient technical know-how, etc. Elsewhere, the managing director of Azar Refractory Products Co., Eng. Shah-Naseri pointed to other problems such as immethodical imports as well as lack of specified tariffs. The managing director of Niroo Refractory Products' Co., Eng. Nikoo also pointed to lack of direct supervision over import of raw materials in terms of quality and related guild union, etc. as the other main reasons for hindering development of this industry. It should be mentioned that International Refractories' Conference will be held on May 4-6, 2004 by the Iran University of Science and Technology at the OIC Summit Conference.

Yazd Province to Become Country’s Steel Pole
2004 April 26

By the end of the Fourth Five-Year Development Plan, the Yazd Province will become the steel pole of the country. With the approval of the Mines and Industries Minister, Es’haq Jahangiri to increase the production capacity of steel to 2.2 million tons, the Yazd province enjoying 4.5 billion tons of ironstone and coal, has provided an appropriate ground for development of the country’s steel industry. It is projected that the steel production capacity of this province will hit 2.2 million tons by the end of the Fourth Development plan. If necessary investments in the provincial steel sector are taken into account, the production capacity of the province has the potential to overpass 2.2 million.
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