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MSC steel production to boost to 10.3 million tons by late March 2017

The managing director of Mobarakeh Steel Company (MSC) has said that Mobarakeh Steel Group’s production capacity will have increased to 10.3 million tons by yearend [March 20, 2017].
Dr. Bahram Sobhani made the remark in a press conference and added the capacity is projected to increase up to 25 million tons by 2025. “In line with the policies of Mobarakeh Steel Company, we have put on our agenda plans to invest in completing the production chain, implement horizontal development strategies to achieve the stated objectives, and upgrade the quality of our products which is the key strategy of Mobarakeh Steel Company.
“To that end, the launch in the near future of MSC’s Casting Unit No. 5, which is one of the company’s development projects, will add 1.8 million tons to MSC’s production capacity and raise the company’s capacity to 7.2 million tons. And the launch of a development project at Saba Steel Complex by yearend will see overall MSC production rise to 10.3 million tons. It should be mentioned that Mobarakeh Steel Company has increased the country’s steel production by 12 percent.” 
As for the measures MSC has taken to increase its production capacity, he said following expert studies we decided to give top priority to the supply of raw materials. That translated into investment in the provision of the iron ore the production lines need. “In line with the policies of the Resistance-based Economy, we then worked on investment projects in Sangan Iron Ore Mines (SIOM) to eliminate the need for imports and produce 5 million tons of iron ore concentrates and an additional 5 million tons of pellets. We also conceived and operationalized different projects, among other things, to produce quality steel with higher added value; establish a degassing station to produce quality steel (1 million tons per year) to be used in automotive manufacturing; set up a unit to desulfurize steel to produce pipes which are used in gas transfer and in maritime industry, especially sour gas with API standards; establish a briquetting plant to use sponge iron powder; and launch a unit to produce demineralized water to be used for cooling purposes.     
He then pointed to his company’s share (50 percent) of the country’s steel production target by 2025 which is projected to stand at 55 million tons and said to that end MSC has undertaken the following projects: reconstruction of electric arc furnaces; increasing the production capacity of Saba Steel Complex from 750,000 tons to 1.6 million tons; building lime kilns, which are used for calcination of limestone, at Hozmahi Mine – which is already 94 percent complete – with a production capacity of 276,000 tons; a project to pelletize 5 million tons of steel in Sangan, which is 90 percent complete; a direct reduction iron (DRI) project at Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Sefid Dasht Steel Complex, which is now 99 percent complete; development of a 25-MW power plant with a physical progress of 40 percent; carrying out a project to collect urban wastewater in towns close to Mobarakeh Steel Company – with 80 percent physical progress – to supply 450 liters per second of water to reduce the company’s dependence on the water of the Zayanderud River; constructing a steelmaking plant at Sefid Dasht which has made 41 percent physical progress; and developing plans to launch a hot-rolling unit and carrying out expansion projects at Hormozgan Steel Company to upgrade its production capacity to 3 million tons from 1.5 million.  
Mobarakeh Steel Group, world’s biggest sponge iron producer with production capacity of 12 million tons per year
Dr. Sobhani explained that MSC is the major producer of steel sheets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and accounts for 22 percent of production in the MENA region. “Mobarakeh Steel Group is the main sponge iron producer in the world with a production capacity of 12 million tons per year.”
Along with its subsidiaries, MSC is the leading listed company on the stock exchange with 75 trillion rials in registered capital, while its assets are valued at around 250 trillion rials. “We take pride in the fact that MSC accounts for one percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and for 5 percent of GDP in the industry sector. As for the supply chain, about 2,800 companies in the upstream sector are providing goods such as iron ore, spare parts and consumable items as well services to Mobarakeh Steel Company,” he said.      
Thanks to domestic support, 83% of parts and materials MSC needs is met domestically
The MSC managing director further said, “In line with the policies of the Resistance-based Economy, that is to say reliance on domestic potential and willingness to interact with other nations, we used the “Yes We Can” slogan and tapped into the potential of domestic companies to form a reverse engineering and indigenization group at MSC. In cooperation with domestic producers, that unit handles the indigenization of all equipment, parts and consumables through reverse engineering.  
“Mobarakeh Steel has adopted a strategic approach by supporting domestic companies and upgrading their know-how. To indigenize the parts its needs and those used in the steel industry, MSC helps bolster the Iranian companies which produce and supply parts. The extensive application of such approach has resulted in domestic production of 83 percent of the parts and materials MSC uses. This is a great credit for Mobarakeh Steel and the entire country. On top of that, as many as 1,000 firms in downstream industries such as automotive and home appliances industries as well as water and gas pipes, petrochemical industries, and pipe and profile firms directly use the MSC products.”    
Dr. Sobhani further said Mobarakeh Steel Group brings together MSC, Saba Steel Complex and Hormozgan Steel Company, adding MSC has undertaken a provincial project of IMIDRO [Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization] in Sefid Dasht whose sponge iron production unit – the first provincial project – is set to become operational. “Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Automotive Sheets Company and Kashan Amir Kabir Steel Company, which produce galvanized sheets, are part of Mobarakeh Steel Group, too.”
As for MSC performance in the first seven months of the current Iranian year [March 21 – September 22, 2016], Dr. Sobhani said, “Fortunately, in this period the MSC production, especially in certain units, has been ahead of plan.” 
350,000 people work at MSC, directly or indirectly
The MSC chief also said as many as 13,150 people work in MSC, 920 people in Saba Steel Complex and 1,673 people in Hormozgan Steel Company. “Overall, as many as 350,000 people are working for Mobarakeh Steel Group, either directly or indirectly.”
68% of MSC products dedicated to domestic customers this year
He said production at MSC is customer-oriented and based on customer demand, adding MSC sells its products on the stock market and keeps its customers informed of transparent pricing of its products. “Last year [ended March 19, 2016] the company sold 65 percent of its products at home and exported the remaining 35 percent. With efforts to meet domestic demands deemed a top priority, MSC dedicates 68 percent of its output to domestic consumption and exports 32 percent. Since the launch of Mobarakeh Steel Company, 72 million tons of products has been sent to domestic markets and 17 million tons has been shipped abroad, valued at $37 billion.”   
MSC exported about 600,000 tons of its products in 1392 [the 12 months to March 20, 2013] and 1.8 million tons last year, he said, adding the figure has topped 1.156 million tons in the first seven months of this year already. “Exports of 54 percent of products to Europe are indicative of the top quality of MSC products which match up to global and international standards.”  
Dr. Sobhani said, “The Company’s presence in international markets and its export of products should be in line with competitive prices of global markets. We need to stand by competitive rules. So, when compared with domestic prices, sometimes prices slip, and sometimes go higher. Production and export of quality products to global markets should be credited for the great achievements Mobarakeh Steel Company has made on the international stage.”     
Completion of Naghsh-e- Jahan Stadium
The managing director of the giant steelmaker elaborated on the projects MSC has contributed to as part of its social responsibilities and said Mobarakeh Steel Company is ethically committed to undertaking its social responsibilities. “As the savior of Naghsh-e- Jahan Stadium, Mobarakeh Steel took over the project under a memorandum of understanding between the governor general’s office, the Ministry of Sports and Youth and MSC two years ago. Back then MSC committed itself to investing 300 billion rials in the project in addition to 180 billion rials the company had previously contributed. The stadium which is now ready will soon be launched in a ceremony attended by state officials.”
The MSC managing director said other activities his company has undertaken in line with its social responsibilities include: participation in completing the Grand Mosalla of Isfahan, the Red Crescent Rescue and Relief Base in Mobarakeh; partnership in development projects in Mobarakeh, Baharestan, Majlesi and other provincial towns; investment in the environment sector by implementing pollutant control projects; creation of more than 1,700 hectares of green space; and construction of various refineries inside the company.    
Mobarakeh Steel, a world-class organization
Dr. Sobhani also referred to the achievements of Mobarakeh Steel as a world-class organization and said his company has so far secured many titles and prizes, among them: the leading company of the year; the only two-time winner of the golden prize of Iranian National Productivity and Excellence Award; the exemplary unit in the province and in the country as far as standards are concerned; Iran’s best knowledge-based company which has made it to the Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises (MAKE) Award along with giant companies like Samsung and Toyota; the Consumer Rights Protection Award; ranking first in the basic metals group and sixth in terms of the added value among 100 leading companies; the launch of the first provincial project; and securing two awards from the European Association for Green Management (EAGM) for developing an environmental approach to the production process and “Promoting the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility as a holistic approach for development”.
MSC reduces water consumption by 68 percent
The MSC managing director further said that when Mobarakeh Steel Company was inaugurated, the contract inked between the company and the appropriate authorities had envisioned consumption of 16.5 cubic meters of water for each ton of steel. “Thanks to investments and implementation of optimization projects, the consumption has now decreased to 5.3 cubic meters of water for every ton of steel produced, showing a 68 percent reduction. In other words, the production at MSC – which was 2.4 million tons when the company was launched – has now more than doubled (5.4 million tons), still water harvesting in Zayanderud has declined to less than 30 million cubic meters from 40 million cubic meters according to a contract signed with Water and Wastewater Company of Isfahan Province when MSC was launched.”
He further said that the per capita steel consumption which is a development index is below 100 kg in undeveloped countries, 100-300 kg in developing countries, and over 300 kg in developed countries. With per capita steel consumption of 235 kg, Iran is placed in the second group: developing countries. In the 2025 Outlook plan, Iran’s per capita consumption will rise to more than 300 kg after it has reached the target production of 55 million tons.”     
In conclusion, the MSC chief referred to the challenges the country faces in reaching the 2025 target and said some of those challenges have to do with institutional investment and capacity building. Some others are related to the government and officials that are expected to create infrastructure for the supply of water, electricity, gas, rail roads, mine exploration, etc. and develop plans for the materialization of the stated objectives of the Outlook Plan.

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