A consortium of Iranian companies comprising Chadormalu Mining & Industrial Co. (CMIC) and Parsland Mines & Industries Development Company (PAMIDCO), both of which hold 100% shares in CPG Engineering & Commercial Services GmbH, erected a new steel making plant with a 170-ton electric arc furnace and a six-strand continuous caster in Ardakan, province of Yazd in central Iran.

The six-strand continuous caster is designed for an annual output of 1.2Mt of billets. It has a casting radius of 10.25 metres and billets can be produced on the six-strand casting lines in formats between 130mm and 250mm square.

Chadormalu & PAMIDCO will first produce square billets in sizes ranging from 130mm, 150mm, 180mm and 200mm. Semi-finished products can be produced in lengths of six or 12 metres depending on plant specification.

The casting machine is equipped with SMS Concast’s proprietary CONVEX mold technology and was supplied with interchangeable equipment to allow maximum uptime and efficient maintenance work, claims SMS Concast. Mold supports, mold cartridges, foot rollers and spray rings, for example, are claimed to be easily interchangeable between the strands. Format-dependent mold parts can be replaced easily and quickly and the system is fully equipped with Level 1 and Level 2 automation.

The cast billets are primarily meant to fulfill the requirements of the domestic industry but will also be exported to other countries. Mahmoud Nourian, managing director of Chadormalu, commented that the steel industry was one of the most promising sectors capable of boosting the local economy, which has been adversely affected by ‘long pressed’ sanctions.”

Seyed Hossein Tabib, managing director of CPG Industrial Mining and Technical Services GmbH (the company responsible for inspecting the equipment of the project supplied from abroad), added: ‟Iran is now on rank 14 among the world's steel-producing countries, and produced 17.89Mt of crude steel in 2016, an 11% increase compared with 2015.”

Latif Dashtbozorgi, managing director of PAMIDCO, committed all his efforts to enabling quick commissioning and high-quality production at the Chadormalu steel plant. “With our project, we will contribute to the further growth of the Iranian steel industry,” he said.

The Ardakan plant is operated on the basis of directly reduced iron ore (DRI), which Chadormalu provides from its own mines in the province. Further rapid processing makes it possible to produce comparatively steel inexpensively.

The Iranian steel industry expects a significant increase in demand in the current and coming years. Iran regards the metals industry and the upstream mining industry as important future industries.