The CEO of a leading Iranian steel production company says Iran is the world’s leading producer of direct-reduced iron (DRI), also called sponge iron.
Managing Director of National Iranian Steel Company (NISCO) Abdol-Majid Sharifi says at present, Iran ranks first worldwide in sponge iron production and 14th in steel production.
Sharifi said Iran is currently the world’s biggest producer of sponge iron, adding the country has produced 30 percent of the world’s annual DRI since 2015.
The NISCO CEO put Iran’s annual sponge iron production capacity at 19.5 million tonnes in 2013, saying the figure currently stands at 25.5 million tonnes.
He added with the completion of a number of new projects, currently underway in the country, by October, Iran’s annual sponge iron output capacity is expected to reach 31.5 million tonnes by March 2018.
Iran, World’s 14th Steel Producer
He said in 2013, Iran’s annual steel production capacity stood at 22 million tonnes.
Currently, he added, the figure stands at 31 million tonnes thanks to efforts by the incumbent government which took office in 2013.
It will increase by 2 million tonnes by the end of the current Iranian year, which started mid-March 2017, he added, according to a Farsi report by the Soroosh News Agency.
Sharifi said in 2015, Iran’s annual steel output exceeded 16.7 million tonnes and in 2016, it hit a record of more than 18 million tonnes.
“This year’s annual target has been set at 20 million tonnes.”
Raw Steel World Ranking
Iran’s performance during the first five months of 2017 shows that the country has accounted for 64 percent of the Middle East’s raw steel production in this time-span, Sharifi added.
As stipulated in Iran’s Vision 2025, the country is expected to jump seven spots in the world ranking to No. 7 in raw steel production with an annual output capacity of 55 million tonnes. At present, Iran stands 14th in the global ranking.
The NISCO chief said global steel production in the first five months of 2017 witnessed a 4.5-percent increase compared to the figure for the same time-span in 2016.
This comes as Iran’s steel production in the same duration was 13.1 percent higher than the country’s five-month output in 2016, he added.
“Iran’s year-on-year steel production growth in the said period of time was three times higher than that of the world.”
Latest statistics show that Iran’s raw steel exports during March 21-June 21, 2017, stood at 1.675 million tonnes, indicating a 67-percent growth compared to the figure for the same period last year, which was 1.016 million tonnes.
The country’s annual raw steel overseas sales are expected to exceed 15 million tonnes by 2025.
In 2015 and 2016, Iran exported 4.2 million tonnes and 6 million tonnes of raw steel respectively.