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Plans to Invest over EUR 8 Billion in Aluminium Sector

Iran is the 20th largest producer of aluminium in the world, according to the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organisation (Imidro), and needs the extra supplies to meet demand which is growing by 10 % a year. Iran produced 338000 t of aluminium last year and is aiming for 770000 t in 2016 and 1,5 Mt by 2025, Panthea Geramishoar, senior expert in Imidro’s non-ferrous department said at a Metal Bulletin Conference in Geneva/CH. Geramishoar did not give a timeframe for the eight projects involved in the program, but added that bidding was underway for one plant (Persian Gulf Alumina) and financing was being arranged for two others (Salco, Kalco). Iran could struggle to increase production so quickly given it is heavily dependent on importing the raw ore bauxite or the refined ore alumina at a high cost. Alumina costs have been pushed up by the impact of sanctions. According to Press TV, an Iranian news site, Iran’s aluminium output hit 119560 t in the first four months of the current Iranian calendar year, which began on 21 March. At this rate, the country would produce 358680 t for 2013, just 6 % above last year’s output level. Geramishoar said higher prices for alumina imports have already contributed to a rise in the cost of aluminium production to over USD 2000 a tonne. Iran has increased purchases of alumina from China and India in the past two months to help replace former contracts impacted by sanctions. The Iran Aluminium Company (Iralco), which western sources believe has links to the Iran Centrifuge Technology Company (TESA), was recently awarded a tender to buy alumina from India’s National Aluminium Company (Nalco). (9/2013)

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