Steel development requirements

To realize Iran’s Steel Development Plan, there are some issues that will be addressed briefly in this article.
One of the most important questions concerning the development plan is to recognize the basic needs of Iran Steel Comprehensive Plan.
According to the plan, in order to reach the production capacity of 55mt, the following production operations should be completed by 2025:
88mt iron ore concentrate
91mt agglomerate and pellet
60mt sponge iron and cast iron
55mt crude steel

It is expected that the total production capacity of active and under-construction units producing concentrate reaches 70mt. The remaining amount will be supplied by an increase in domestic production or via imports.

 

Ways to finance
According to recent experience, negotiations and actions, the means to finance will be as follows:
- Completion of incomplete projects through participation of the country’s leading steel companies and investment funds currently active in provincial steel projects
-Financing from domestic sources, local loans and foreign financing, particularly financing by China
- Providing proper conditions for foreign companies to invest in steel projects, namely, in regions with high economic justification such as the Southern coast of the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman.

Role of transport sector
To achieve the goals set in Steel Comprehensive Plan, over 150mt materials, steel and steel products are to be transported. Hence, development of transport networks, especially railways, is of significant importance.

Status of foreign companies
The status of overseas companies is important from different aspects:
Financing and investment in projects
Transferring the latest required technologies to the country
Boosting export market

Approaches to reduce energy consumption and environmental issues
To deal with energy consumption and environmental issues, several operations are undertaken as follows:
- Highlighting the use of optimized and up-to-date technologies on a large scale
- Defining projects to reduce consumption of water, electricity and gas in undertaken projects ,learning from these experiences and applying the findings in under construction projects
- Determining the priorities of regions for investment in order to reduce the costs associated with access to energy, focusing on infrastructures, as well as cutting construction costs
- Prioritizing areas with an emphasis on environmental issues and areas facing industrial investment restrictions
- Emphasis on the construction of high-tech Mega Module units to control environmental issues

Updated version of Steel Comprehensive Plan
Granting a great number of permits in the past has led to the construction of low capacity units in areas with insufficient infrastructure, water, etc.
Since 2014, thanks to some measures such as studying Steel Comprehensive Plan, holding weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual meetings with authorities, crucial steps were undertaken to optimize steel units and deal with environmental issues.
Indeed, the units launched with low capacity in the preceding years have started gradual development.

Some facts about Steel Comprehensive Plan
The entire production chain is analyzed in the plan, ranging from mining to steel production. Likewise, effective steps are taken by defining a complete executive program to create a balance between the capacity of downstream units and that of upstream in the steel industry.
A detailed analysis of the country’s steel value chain in recent years shows that the approach to create balance in the existing capacities has been both positive and practical in the last four years. Of course, further attempts are required in the future.

 

Abdolmajid Sharifi
Managing Director of National Iranian Steel Company (NISCO)