By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Iran is planning to open the country's largest aluminum plant SALCO soon.
The first phase of the SALCO will be opened in the upcoming weeks as authorities seek to compensate for the losses suffered over the past decades in the domestic production of the primary metal.
Located in the city of Lamerd in the Southern tip of the Fars province and near the Persian Gulf, SALCO will reach 300,000 tons of aluminum output in its first phase of production.
Being one of the largest in the Middle East, the metallurgical plant creates 1,200 direct jobs and is planned to produce one million tons annually when it reaches full capacity.
As many as five Iranian banks have provided finances of more than $1 billion for the first phase of the project where China Non-ferrous Metal Industry's Foreign Engineering and Construction Co. (NFC) has also been contributing.
The project has been funded by the IMIDRO, Iran’s largest holding in mining and metals sector, and Ghadir Investment Company, where Iran’s Social Security Organization and pension funds related to the armed forces are the main shareholders.
Iran has lagged behind in the production of aluminum compared to other metals. However, vast sources of energy can help the country compensate for the losses suffered over the years as fuel account for more than 25 percent of the cost of aluminum production.
Iran seeks to increase annual output of aluminum to more than 800,000 tons by March 2022 while more than $11 billion will be attracted in investment to bring the figure to 1.5 million tons by 2025.
Production at three major metallurgical plants in Iran, namely Iranian Aluminum Company (IRALCO), the Hormozal Aluminum and Almahdi Co. totaled 103,593 tons between late March and late August 2019.
South Aluminum Corporation (SALCO) has been established in 2003 in compliance with developing energy-intensive industries and macroeconomic policies based on the fifth Iranian Development Plan With the aim of taking advantage of the country's huge gas reserves, job creation, alleviation of the poverty, export development and getting more added value.
Majority (51 percent) of the company's stocks belong to Ghadir Investment Company and 49 percent remainder belongs to Iranian Mines & Mining Industries Development & Renovation Organization (IMIDRO).
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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