The Iran Central Iron Ore Company (ICIOC) has invited contractors to prequalify for four engineering, procurement and construction contracts as part of a major expansion of its production complex on the outskirts of Bafgh in the Yasd province.

All four packages are available to local contractors or local/foreign joint ventures with the local partner holding a share of at least 51 per cent, the company said. Application forms will be available from 6 to 16 March.

The four packages are:

  • Improving and increasing the number of the concentrate production lines and increasing capacity from 1.6 million tonnes a year (t/y) to between 3.2 million and 4 million t/y.
  • Construction of a 5 million t/y iron pelletising plant.
  • Construction of blast furnace 1 million t/y steel production line
  • Expansion of existing agglomeration capacity from 800,000 t/y to 1,600,000 t/y.

Iran is being tipped as a future powerhouse for steel production due to its iron ore reserves of 2-3 billion tonnes. In 2009 the US Geological Survey named Iran as the eighth largest producer of the mineral with an output of 33 million tonnes. China topped the 2009 list of producers with 900 million tonnes of output, followed by Brazil with 380 million tonnes and Australia with 370 million tonnes.