Bids from four companies were opened in late July for package 1, the construction of the 1.65 million-tonne-a-year (t/y) direct reduction iron (DRI) facility. The lowest proposals, at less than $150 million, came from Germany-registered Mines & Metals Engineering (MME)and a team of Iran International Engineering Company (IRITEC)and Italy-registered Irasco, a subsidiary of IRITEC.

Industry sources say the two bids were at least $100 million below the next lowest price submitted by Germany’s Ferrostaalwith a local company identified as IPD, a Defence Ministry affiliate. It is understood that a fourth proposal from Italy’s Danieli & Company, with the local Namvaran, was rejected by HSC on technical grounds.

A contract award on the DRI package is expected in early August.

On the second package, covering a 1.5 million-t/y slab and lime-calcining plant, bidders have been given until 14 August to submit complementary documentation and revised bid prices. The bidders are Danieli, Argentina’s Techintand Germany’s SMS Demag. The bid evaluation is set to be concluded by October.

Initial estimates have put at $500 million the total cost for the integrated steel venture, which will be located in the mines and metals special economic zone in Bandar Abbas.