Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 2 / Trend F.Milad/
The most advanced steel ingot production plant in Iran came on stream today in the southern province of Hormozgan, the IRNA news agency reported.
The Hormozgan Steel Company has the initial production capacity of 1.5 million tons per year. But, infrastructures have been provided for boosting the capacity to three million tons, the report added.
The plant has been established by an Iranian-German consortium (IRITEC, SMS-DEMAG) and is second to none in terms of software systems as well as environment protection facilities.
Iran produced over 9.1 million tons of crude steel in the first eight months of the current calendar year (ended November 21, 2011), showing 11.3 percent rise compared with the same period last year.
Steel products also amounted to 9.9 million tons in the eight-month period of time, according to the IRNA news agency.
According to the World Steel Association, Iran was the second leading steel producer in the Middle East in 2010 after Turkey.
Iran also ranked 7th among the Asian producers.
Iran will become one of the world's main steel exporters by March 2016, Industry, Mine and Trade Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari said in May.
Iran plans to reach the production capacity of 42 million tons per year by the end of the Fifth Five-Year Socio-Economic Development Plan (March 2016).
According to Ghazanfari, the nation's steel production capacity is currently 19 million tons annually.