Iran’s state-owned media announced on Monday that major aluminium and copper plants will begin production by the end of next spring.
Deputy Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mehdi Karbasian was quoted as making the announcement, which is in line with the government’s push to increase domestic capacity for both copper and aluminium.
“By the year-end, two major factories – aluminum and copper – will come on stream,” he explained.
Karbasian continued by noting that construction is currently underway at South Aluminum Corp (Salco), which is slated to have a nameplate capacity of 300 thousand metric tons in its initial phase. The plant is then expected to reach a total production capacity of 1 million metric tons by 2025.
The plant is being built at the Lamerd Special Economic Zone in the southern reaches of Iran, where it will take advantage of a deepwater port that is also under construction at present. The project, which has a budget of US$1.2 billion, is being built by China’s China Nonferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering & Construction Co. The plant will be powered by a natural gas-powered captive power plant, taking advantage of the country’s tremendous natural gas reserves.
He explained that the factory currently requires iron oxide and aluminium powder, which the plant will receive from overseas suppliers.
In addition to the planned aluminium plant, Karbasian said that mining investment company MIDHCO, is building a significant copper plant that is expected to soon come online. He did not elaborate regarding the plant’s location.
Iran’s present aluminium capacity is estimated to be 457 thousand metric tons per annum, though around 20 thousand metric tons per annum is idled at the moment due, in part, to environmental concerns. The country’s sole alumina refinery is owned by Iralco and is located in Jajarm, North Khorasan Province, and has a nameplate capacity of 250 thousand metric tons per annum.