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NewsIran says it wants S Korea in steel projects

Iran says it wants S Korea in steel projects

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Mehdi Karbassian, the board chairman of the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO), told reporters that involving South Korean companies in Iran’s steel projects as part of plans to increase national production of the crucial metal to 55 million tons by 2025.

Karbassian said Iran is currently negotiating with POSCO – which is among the world’s top five steel producers – over this and specifically wants it to bring an advanced steel-making technology named as Finex into Iran.     

Finex – that has been developed by Siemens and POSCO – involves the direct production of molten iron using iron ore fines and non-coking coal rather than the traditional blast furnace method.  This process is believed to be less expensive, faster and more environment-friendly.

“IMIDRO plans to launch new steel projects in Iran’s southern cities including Chabahar and Bandar Abbas as well as the energy hub of Assaluyeh, said Karbassian after a meeting with POSCO Senior Vice President Jin Sik Choi. “And we welcome POSCO’s participation in those projects”   

The investment for production of steel is reduced through Finex, said Karbassian, adding that Iran plans to dedicate a share of its production to this method.

Jin, for his part, said POSCO has already launched two Finex-based steel mills each with a combined annual production capacity of 3.5 million tons in 2014.

IMIDRO - a major state-owned holding company in charge of studying, planning and launching projects in Iran's mineral sector - said earlier this Monday that it had has signed a basic agreement with a multinational corporation over the construction of several major industrial plants in northern Iran, mainly involving the production of steel.    

The agreement has been signed with the Manila-based Altawitawi Nickel Mining Corporation (ANC).  Under the agreement, ANC will work over the construction of a plant to process coal and produce coke with an annual capacity of 600,000 tons in Tabas, in Iran’s South Khorasan Province.

The World Steel Association (WSA) said in a recent report that Iran ranked first in the Middle East and 14th in the world in terms of steel production in 2014.

Also, official figures show that Iran produced 16.331 million tons of crude steel in 2014, a 5.9 percent rise from 15.422 million tons in 2013.