The smelter’s first phase is expected to come on stream in September 2005 with production capacity of 110,000 tonnes a year (t/y). Phase 2 will expand capacity by a further 110,000 t/y. Italy’s Fata
is supplying equipment. A third phase, including a captive power plant, is under study.
Iranian Mineral Industries Development & Renovation Organisation (IMIDRO)
,which owns the project, has guaranteed to supply 110,000 t/y of aluminium from plants owned by its subsidiary, Iran Aluminium Company (Iralco)
, if the plant fails to come on stream on schedule.
Iran has ambitious plans for its aluminium sector and aims to double production to more than 1 million t/y by 2009. Aside from the Al-Mahdi smelter, others are planned in Sirjan, Faza, Jajarm and Azerbaijan. In addition, plans are under study to produce alumina from alternative feedstocks . Currently, most bauxite is imported from Australia and India.