Marketing in Middle East Metals Market
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Iran's location in one of the most important mountain ranges in the world between the Himalayas and the Alps and having orogenic conditions has caused Iran to have 10 types of mineral reserves that are the first in the world. There are 62 types of Minerals in Iran, of which 6 billion tons of proven metal reserves have been calculated, while over 5 billion tons of potential Metals reserves in addition to the mentioned definite reserves have been estimated in Iran.
Steel production capacity in Iran reaches 10 million tons per year. Iran's Copper mines contain 2 billion tons of ore with an average grade of three and seven-tenths percent. Iran has five percent of the world's proven copper reserves, 98 percent of the Middle East's copper reserves, and 30 percent of Asia's copper reserves.
Iran produces 150,000 tons of Aluminum per year, which is the largest producer of aluminum in the Middle East. Iran is very rich in Zinc ores and extensive studies show that the volume of Iran's lead and zinc mineral reserves is about 230 million tons.
STEEL INDUSTRY IN IRAN. In early 1928 bids had actually been invited, despite the fact that the feasibility study had estimated the costs to be twice the amount which the Majles had allotted, while the German Krupp corporation, one of the world’s principal steelmakers and arms manufacturers until the end of World War II, even estimated the costs to be much higher. In 1938, an agreement was reached, after much study and preparation, between Iran and a German consortium (Demag-Krupp) for the construction of two blast furnaces with a daily production of 150 tons, a steel factory, a rolling mill, a wire-drawing mill, a foundry, a wrought ironworks, a coke crusher, a power plant, and some ancillary industries such as a lime plant, an ammonia and benzol plant, and a tar distillation plant. In 1939, Reżā Shah laid the first foundation stone, and, although work proceeded as planned, the works were still unfinished in 1941 when the Allies invaded Iran. Since then, “more has been said and less done about a steel industry than any other industry in Iran” (Echo of Iran, 1965, p. For the government persisted in its desire to have a steel mill and hired a continuous flow of 25 different groups of consultants, who all came to the same conclusion that the steel mill was not viable. In 1961, a proposal prepared by the London-based Kaiser Engineers corporation for a rolling mill at Karaj, as the first phase of an integrated steel mill, also was unable to obtain IBRD financing. The project was only realized in 1963, when an agreement was reached between a private Iranian and a Swedish company to build the scrap metal steel mill. Meanwhile, the army’s munitions factories acquired a five-ton foundry and the Iranian State Railways a 10-ton per day electric arc foundry. It produced mainly cast-iron pipes (Echo of Iran, 1963, pp. The basis for future steel production in Iran was laid by the signing of a contract with the USSR in 1965 to finance and erect a steel plant in Isfahan (National Iranian Steel Company, NISC). Repayment of the loan was done through deliveries of natural gas from Iran to the USSR. The Isfahan steel plant (Aryamehr Steel Mill, later called Ḏawb-āhan-e Eṣfahān) was commissioned, and its cast iron department came into operation in 1971. At that time, a contract for the expansion of the Isfahan steel plant to a capacity of 1. 9 million tons per year of structural steel was signed with the USSR. The private-sector Iran National Steel Industries Group (INSIG, Goruh-e Melli-ye Ṣanʿati-ye Fulād-e Irān) erected a second 85,000 tons per year rolling mill (Šāhin), also at Ahvāz, in 1969, and ordered a third one (Šahyār, 120,000 tons per year) to produce structural steel by rolling imported, semi-finished steel products. Later the two plants were referred to as Navard Iran. INSIG also constructed a steelmaking shop (using an electric arc furnace [EAF] and continuous casting [CC] technology) to produce semis by melting steel scrap. Two other bloom plants for processing sponge iron (400,000 tons capacity) were erected in 1972 by the Šahriyār Industrial Group; they were nationalized after the Islamic revolution and are now managed by the National Iranian Steel Industries Company (NISCO). Also built were the Ahvāz Rolling and Pipe Mills Company to produce 140,000 tons of skelp (steel shaped for pipe-making) per year and the Šahriyār Pipe Manufacturing Company to produce 80,000 tons per year of seamless and galvanized pipes (0. The problems encountered at the Isfahan steel plant and the private sector furnaces (shortage of scrap and quality coking coal) constrained the government’s policy to expand the country’s iron and steel industry to respond to growing domestic demand. The development of new methods of direct reduction processing technology provided a viable alternative for the government, given the fact that Iran had rich resources of natural gas and various required raw materials, in particular, iron ore. The resulted in the establishment of another state-owned company under the name of NISCO in the mid-1970s to produce iron and steel products by utilizing the direct reduction process, as well as to mobilize the relevant iron ore mines. To accomplish this, two contracts were signed between NISCO and a European-American consortium to construct two integrated steel mills in Bandar-e ʿAbbās and Ahvāz and a heavy rolling mill in Ahvāz. 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 was affiliated to the former Ministry of Mines and Metals, and the Ministry of Industries and Mines was established. NISCO now directs and supervises the Iranian steel industry from the exploration stage of its relevant raw materials up to the marketing of its products in domestic and international markets. 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 Iran-Iraq war (1980-88) the steel industry development lost its impetus to some extent. Construction of the Ahvāz Steel Complex (Mojtameʿ-e Fulād-e Ahvāz) had been started in 1974 with a planned capacity of 2. However, immediately after the cease-fire and implementation of the First and Second Five-Year Development Plans of the country, the steel industry achieved a considerable growth. In 1988, the volume of steel production did not exceed an annual one million tons. Of the old projects the most notable was the Ahvāz Steel Complex, which is built 12 km from Ahvāz on a terrain of 300 ha. Its 150 x 150 mm steel ingots are supplied to NISC, which transforms them into beams and round bars. The second and third phases (two furnaces and a casting unit) of the Ahvāz Steel Complex were completed by 1989 and 1990, respectively, with a production capacity of 1. 6 million tons per year; this output is converted into sheets by the Kāviān heavy rolling project (Nāvard-e Sangin-e Kāviyān), which is part of the Ahvāz steel complex. At Ahvāz there is also the Nasr Steel Mill (Fulād-e Naṣr), which produced 125,000 tons of steel billets in 1988. The Khuzestan Steel Production Complex produced 1,698,000 tons of steel in 2002-03, hitting a record in its annual production. The complex was to produce almost two million tons of steel in 2003-04. Khuzestan Steel Co. (KSC) actually consists of three companies (Ahvāz Steel Complex, INSIG, and Kāviān), but in early 1994 NISCO, the mother company, decided to integrate them into one company to better compete in the world market. Further upgrades and expansion also took place at the Isfahan Steel Mill in 1989 when the Italians completed two continuous casting units. One of the first new projects was the construction of the Iran Alloy Steel Plant (Fulādhā-ye Alyāji-ye Irān) at Yazd, which started in 1988 and became operational in 1998. It has a production capacity of 120,000 tons of alloy steel sections and 20,000 tons of alloy steel ingots. Another new project was the Mobarakeh Steel Complex (Mojtameʿ-e Fulād-e Mobāraka), which is the biggest industrial project in Iran. The Mobarakeh Steel Company is affiliated to NISCO and is also the first integrated flat steel production plant in the Islamic Republic of Iran based on DRI [“direct reduced iron” oxidation]-EAF-CC technology. The plant became operational in late 1992 with a projected production capacity of 2,935 million tons of liquid steel per year. The expansion contract was signed between Iran and three Italian companies on a buy-back basis. see Internet Source 1; for the steel plants of Iran in general, see Internet Source 6). INSIG (as noted above, part of KSC) also initiated the construction of new capacity such as a bar rolling mill financed by the Italian steel corporation Danieli with a capacity of 550,000 tons of bars on a yearly basis. It also intends to reconstruct its casting and melting shops to increase production to 470,000 tons of crude steel when financing has been secured. Steel and steel girders are made in section 3, while section 4 has two galvanized and non-galvanized pipe-making units (70,000 and 120,000 tons capacity, respectively). The Isfahan Steel plant will add new capacity to produce some 3. 6 million tons of crude steel. The Saba Steel Complex, near Isfahan, which has been designed and constructed by Isfahan Steel Mill, adds a total of 700,000 tons of steel sheets to the country’s annual production. The Khorasan Steel Complex in Nishapur (51 percent privately owned, 49 percent Isfahan Steel) with an annual capacity is 550,000 tons became operational in 2002. The Meybod Steel Project has a capacity of 300,000 of cast iron per year. The Zagros Steel Project in Kurdistan province has a capacity of 70,000 tons of cast iron per year. The Hormozegan Steel Project has a planned capacity of 1. 5 million tons of crude steel. Hormozgan Steel Complex signed two contracts in January 2003. 5 million-tons-per-year slab and lime calcining plant, was signed with a consortium of Germany’s SMS Demag AG, Iran International Engineering Company (IRITEC) and its subsidiary registered in Italy, Irasco. 65-million-tons-per-year direct reduction iron facility was signed by Germany-registered Mines & Metals Engineering GmhH (MME). Financing will be arranged on a buy-back basis, with a structure similar to the one used for the expansion of the Mobarakeh Steel Complex. To sustain the expansion plans of the steel industry (in particular at Isfahan Steel and Mobarakeh Steel), the ongoing Bandar-e ʿAbbās Jetty project will enable the handling of 5 million tons per year of minerals at the port, allowing the docking of ships with a capacity up to 150,000 tons. Likewise the Bandar Imam Jetty project enables the handling of 5 million tons per year of iron ore at the Khuzestan Steel Complex. Not only port access and capacity are important for Iran’s steel industry, but also the railway system. According to the Ministry of Industries and Mines, 50 per cent of total railway capacity was allocated to transporting the output of the National Steel Company in 2000, and with planned increase of steel production capacity more demand will be made on rail capacity. World steel production in 2000 reached 850 million tons, of which Iran’s share was 6. 7 million tons; Iran then ranked twenty-third among steel-producing countries, and twenty-first in 2004 (see International Iron and Steel Institute for the respective years). NISCO reported that the annual production of steel in Iran for 1382 (2003/04) was estimated at 8. 13 million tons—the first time that Iran’s steel production would surpass eight million tons. This meant that Iran was able to satisfy 70 percent of domestic demand, while at the same time exporting some 1. 5 million tons of steel. Exports constitute a small part of the output of the steel and other metal industries. Only ingots and some aluminum was exported and amounted to less than 1 percent of total exports in 1999. NISCO has also taken steps toward upgrading the quality of its products and improving the management system with due consideration to environmental protection and better working conditions (NISCO-Iran; see Internet Source 5). Iran was scheduled to produce some 8. 1 million tons of steel and 7. 6 million tons of steel slabs in 2003. 5 million tons of steel, as well as 7. 5 tons of steel slabs were produced in the country, so the country is capable of producing steel and steel slabs in equal amounts. However, the domestic consumption of steel was as high as 11 million tons in 2002, which meant that more than 3. 5 million tons of steel were imported. The domestic consumption of steel for 2003 was predicted to be some 12 million tons, which is likely to increase with a boom in the construction sector. This is because, unlike many countries in the world which use concrete and bars, Iran uses iron slates in construction, which also adds to the instability of its buildings. Despite all, Iran managed to export 1. 5 million tons of steel products in 2002. Iran’s steel is capable of competing with European products due to its quality and price. The prospects of Iran’s steel industry seem favorable due to its large and rich raw material resource base, its rich and cheap energy resources, human capital and technical know-how (as to the latter see Noorbakhsh, pp. Iran not only added new capacity during the last 20 years that significantly reduced the country’s import bill and even made export of steel products possible, but it also developed its own technological capacity. Iran, for example, developed its own direct reactivation method of producing iron with 96 percent “metallization,” which works more effectively than the three other conventional methods. The Isfahan Steel complex also has been developing innovative techniques of producing spongy iron, manufacturing macro-weighty crafts, etc. Takado Company was established as an investment company and was an affiliate of Isfahan Steel. It started operating with personnel from Isfahan Steel, and after a decade it became one of the largest investment companies in the steel industry. It consists now of 13 companies and has 25 affiliated companies, and it is involved in most aspect of the steel industry (Internet Source 8). Echo of Iran, Iran Almanac, Tehran, 1961-77. Laurence Paul Elwell-Sutton, Modern Iran, London, 1941. Willem Floor, Industrialization in Iran, 1900-1941, Durham Occasion Papers 23, Durham, England, 1984. Raj Narain Gupta, Iran. Iran Yearbook, Bonn, 1989-90. Hans-Joachim Koellner, “Die Grundlagen der Industrialisierung Irans unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der wichtigsten iranischen Industriezweige,” Ph. Cusworth), “Senior Manager’s Effectiveness and their Required Categories of Managerial Skills: The Case of the Steel Industry in Iran,” in F. Roberts, Iran. [UNIDO] United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Economist Intelligence Unit, Islamic Republic of Iran. Idem, Islamic Republic of Iran. “Esfahan’s Mobarakeh Steel Company,” at: http://portal. mobarakeh-steel. International Iron and Steel Institute, select “Steel in Figures” to search for world production in various years, at: www. worldsteel. International Trade Centre, “International Trade Statistics”; select "Iran" at: http://www. “Iran Alloy Steel Company,” at: http://www. iranalloysteel. “Iran: Steel Industry Overview,” at: http://www. mesteel. com; select "Iran". “Iransteel. iransteel. “MEsteel,” at: http://www. mesteel.