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Deputy industry minister: MSC excellence is fruit of experience and thinking among managers and staff members

The excellence of Mobarakeh Steel Company (MSC) has come on the back of the experience and thinking of the company’s managers and members of staff, said the deputy minister of industries, mines and trade.
Dr. Mehdi Karbasian, who also serves as the chairman of the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO), made the remark in a meeting with MSC managers and thanked Mobarakeh Steel Group for its strong performance.
In the meeting also attended by the members of IMIDRO’s board of directors, Karbasian said MSC has a crucial role to play in the diversity and volume of steel products the country produces. “The products Mobarakeh Steel Group produces can help support downstream industries.”
He further said the complete production chain is a salient feature of this group, adding special attention should be paid to this feature together with MSC’s potential when the country’s macro policies are being developed.
He characterized as valuable MSC’s investment in Khorasan’s Sangan region and said the giant steelmaker is expected to give top priority to efforts designed to make operational the production line of concentrates in Sangan as it continues to walk down the path to progress and success.
The IMIDRO chief went on to say that investment in unfinished projects has been yet another effective measure by MSC management. “This comes at a time when companies are actively involved in profitable businesses.”
He stressed the need for efforts to finish the construction of the steelmaking unit in Sefid Dasht Steel Complex and said speedy inauguration of these projects boosts hopes in the province.
The deputy industry minister said investment by MSC in a graphite electrode plant is a sustainable measure taken by the company, adding completion of this project essentially helps bring more security to the country’s steel industry.
It is a lasting measure by Mobarakeh Steel Company to collect urban wastewater and use it in its production lines, he said, adding the fact that the company uses the water to meet about one-third of its water needs can be a good example for other industries to follow.    
Implementation of the projects that tap the transportation potential is necessary, he said. “We need to join hands with the government and the private sector in order to produce more favorable results. Otherwise, the transfer of raw materials and products will soon run into a bottleneck.”
The use of modern technologies along production lines slashes the cost price and contributes to the improvement of the quality of new products, he added. “We need to boost Iran’s steel industry by working out various projects. We need to offer top-quality products at lower cost prices in line with global demands.”
Dr. Karbasian termed as highly important for the steelmaking sector the measures to explore and discover raw materials at deep levels and added, “Deep explorations will at least double the iron ore the country’s mines are now producing.”     
In the meeting, Managing Director of Mobarakeh Steel Company Dr. Bahram Sobhani presented a report on his company’s performance and plans and said the company’s production has exceeded the ten million ton mark. “Actually, the current production volume of crude steel at Mobarakeh Steel Group – which includes Mobarakeh Steel Company, Saba Steel Complex and Hormozgan Steel Complex – stands at 10.3 million tons.”
He said MSC, which has maintained its title as the biggest producer of steel sheets in the Middle East and North Africa, claims a 22 percent share in the MENA region. “This comes as Mobarakeh Steel Group is the world’s biggest producer of sponge iron with a production capacity of 12 million tons.”
With the registered capital of 7.5 trillion tomans, MSC is the biggest listed company on the stock exchange, Dr. Sobhani said, adding the real value of the company’s assets hovers around 40 trillion tomans.
As many as 2,800 suppliers and services company, including real and legal firms, suppliers and manufacturers of spare parts and consumables as well as producers of refractory products form MSC’s widespread supply chain, he said, adding the better part of the company’s needs is now met domestically thanks to support lent to domestic production and empowerment of these companies inside the country.     
As for marketing, the MSC chief said, about 1,000 factories are among direct customers of MSC, adding 3,000 factories or so are indirect customers and consumers of MSC products.
He said Mobarakeh Steel Company is a big shareholder of different companies such as Hormozgan Steel Complex, Foolad Sang Mining Industries Company, Sangan Mining Industries Complex in Khorasan, Sefid Dasht Steel Complex, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Automotive Sheets Company and Kashan Amir Kabir Steel Company.
Dr. Sobhani further said Mobarakeh Steel Company ranked Iran’s top company in base metals in the Industrial Management Institute (IMI)-100 rating in the 12 months to March 20, 2018.
He said Mobarakeh Steel Company is one of a few companies whose production chain is complete. “Currently the iron ore extracted from mines is transferred to MSC’s plant where it turns into different types of steel products in the company’s production cycle. The inauguration of Sangan Concentrates factory in Khorasan will add the mining link to the production chain, thus completes MSC’s production chain from the extraction of crude iron ore to production of different kinds of products in the company.”   
The managing director of the giant steelmaker went on to say that MSC’s production chain can produce 12 million tons of pellets and sponge iron. “Production lines of steel ingots, cold- and hot-rolled steel products, as well as plants producing galvanized, color-coated and tin-plated steel sheets are the valuable links in the production chain.”
As many as 11,800 people are currently working in Mobarakeh Steel Company, about 1,650 people in Saba Steel Complex, 2,600 people in Hormozgan Steel Complex, around 7,000 people in services companies and 600 people in Sangan Pelletizing Plant, he said. “In total, MSC has generated around 350,000 job opportunities, both directly and indirectly.”       
Dr. Sobhani said production of crude steel has followed an upward trend in Mobarakeh Steel Group, especially over the past three years and added, “Last year the group materialized its target production of 8.6 million tons and produced 8.667 million tons of products. In the 12 months to March 20, 2017, the group’s production stood at 7.455 million tons, and its production is expected to rise to 9.355 million tons this year which will end on March 20, 2019. Two months into the year, we are now a little bit ahead of schedule.”
Dr. Sobhani also said MSC’s sales have posted a considerable hike in parallel with growing production. “Because of rising domestic needs, the company’s share of exports declined to 18 percent last year and MSC’s products were mainly shipped to local markets.”  
He said the list of MSC’s main customers include pipe and profile industries, rolling mills, converting industries, those involved in the transportation system such as manufacturers of wagons and locomotives, retailers and distribution networks in provinces, producers of metal structures and liquid transfer devices as well as home appliance manufacturers. 
Mobarakeh Steel has both raised its production volume and developed its products in recent years, he said. “Production of ribbed sheets at Saba Steel Complex – part of which has been exported overseas after meeting domestic needs – and production of API grade steel, which was imported to the country up until last year, are among the achievements of Mobarakeh Steel Group. On top of that, Mobarakeh Steel has launched partnership with local companies to produce steel sheets with greater width for oil and gas industries. It has also embarked on producing automotive sheets to be used in the exterior part of cars by Iran’s giant carmakers Iran Khodro and Saipa.”
Under MSC’s Development Document, the company is expected to keep pace with the development of the steel sector as a whole, he said. “As the country marches toward its stated goal of producing 55 million tons of steel, MSC maintains its share of the steel industry. In the year to March 20, 2018, MSC’s production capacity reached 10.3 million tons, and its production is projected to soar to 12.8 million tons in the 12 months to March 20, 2020 thanks to the development of Hormozgan Steel Complex, Sefid Dasht Steel Complex and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Automotive Sheets Company. The plans envisioned in the Development Document will be pursued in the form of different projects by 2025.”
He further said MSC has successfully carried out the following expansion projects: inauguration of the five-million-ton Sangan Pelletizing Plant, raising the production capacity of Saba Steel Complex from 700,000 tons to 1.6 million tons, connecting Saba Steel Complex’s railway to the country-wide railway network, and the opening of Riz Station in Zarrinshahr.
On Iran’s water crisis, the MSC managing director said, “Since its launch, MSC has taken valuable measures to save water and make optimal use of water resources. This has resulted in a 75 percent cut in water consumption in the company. The fact that MSC’s current water consumption has fallen to 4.3 cubic meters per ton of production results from investment in and implementation of different projects, including one that centers on recycling water in the production cycle.”
Mobarakeh Steel has invested in a project designed to collect urban wastewater from Lenjan and Mobarakeh and treat and reuse it in the company’s production cycle so that the company can provide the water it needs, Dr. Sobhani said. “The implementation of the project, which will supply about one-third of water MSC needs, will see effective measures taken to prevent surface and ground water resources from being contaminated.”  
The MSC chief then described as praiseworthy his company’s performance as far as attention to social responsibilities is concerned and said Mobarakeh Steel has always attached importance to social responsibility as one of its main approaches.
“By and large, as a production unit and an economic enterprise, Mobarakeh Steel Company has based its main activities on productivity. As a result, shareholder expectations worked, both financially and economically, in the company’s sales and marketing sector,” he said.
In his remarks, Dr. Sobhani touched upon MSC’s expansion projects and said his company’s main expansion projects are: Sangan Concentrate Production Plan (66.5 percent complete), Steelmaking Plan of Sefid Dasht Steel Company (65 percent complete), a 25 MW power plant (which has progressed 83 percent), a project to collect and treat wastewater from nearby towns (which has progressed 85 percent), completion of the construction of a graphite electrode plant, No. 2 Hot-Rolling Unit, and raising the production capacity of Hormozgan Steel Complex from 1.5 to 3 million tons.
He went on to say that MSC has plans to sell 5.8 million tons of products to domestic markets this year (which ends on March 20, 2019) and added, “This figure accounts for 76 percent of MSC products. The remaining 24 percent (or 1.8 million tons) of products is shipped to export markets in the same period. Given the production of Mobarakeh Steel Group, the overall sale figures are projected to hit the 9.66 million ton mark for domestic and export markets.”
“Improvement of safety and productivity, and concentration on production of special products” is the motto of Mobarakeh Steel Company this year, he said, adding since the start of the year different departments in the company have produced favorable results in this regard.
The managing director of the giant steelmaker stated that in its strategic roadmap the company is planning for different goals such as empowerment of human resources and internal processes, MSC’s social responsibilities, innovation and technology, development management, customer management, customer satisfaction, and market management as well as operational excellence and sustainable supply. “These plans are made to help create value in the company and serve the interests of stakeholders as the company is constantly experiencing growth and excellence, and sustainable profitability.”        
At the close of the meeting, Dr. Sobhani and his deputies fielded questions posed by members of IMIDRO board of directors on a wide range of issues such as MSC’s plans for HR development, exports, occupational health and safety improvement, raising productivity, using modern technologies in the steel industry, the company’s approach toward implementation of expansion projects in the Persian Gulf region, MSC’s cooperation with universities, investment in projects designed to make new discoveries and other national projects.

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