Iran’s Mobarakeh continues to ramp up output to meet growing demand

Iran’s Mobarakeh Steel recorded a 19% year-on-year increase in crude steel production and a 16% rise in hot rolled coil (HRC) output in the month to September 21, according to the Iranian Mines & Mining Industries Development & Renovation Organisation (Imidro).

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Mobarakeh produced 477,000 tonnes of slab and 470,000 tonnes of HRC in the four-week period, against 400,000 tonnes of slab and 392,000 tonnes of HRC in corresponding period last year.

Growing demand for flat products in Iran, along with tightening international trading sanctions affecting steel imports, are major factors behind Mobarakeh Steel’s rapid increase in output.

The state-owned steelmaker has reached nominal capacity of 5.4 million tpy of crude steel following modernisation of four of its 180-tonne electric arc furnaces (EAFs).

Mobarakeh will raise capacity further to 7.2 million tpy when it revamps a further four EAFs.

Saba, Mobarakeh’s continuous hot strip processing plant subsidiary, produced 64,000 tonnes of HRC in the four weeks to September 21 – an increase of 12% year-on-year over 57,000 tonnes last time. Saba has a nominal capacity of 700,000 tpy of HRC.

“We estimate Mobarakeh will hit its nominal capacity [of 5.4 million tpy] or even exceed capacity in the current year,” an analyst in Iran told Steel First.

However, as Mobarakeh’s hot rolling mill has a capacity of 4.5-5 million tpy, there is a danger that hot rolling could become a bottleneck for the steelmaker once it reaches its capacity of 7.2 million tpy of crude steel, the analyst added.

“Mobarakeh has a plan to build a new hot rolling mill of 4-5 million tpy capacity,” the analyst said, “but it seems that project is still at a preliminary stage.”