The deal is part of an agreement reached during President Khatami’s visit to Japan in November 2000 for JBIC to finance four major projects in the Islamic republic. The latest facility will be used to set up a 4.4 million-tonne-a-year pelletising plant in Ardakan. Equipment and services for the Ardakan plant will be provided by Kobe Steel, Marubeni Corporationand Mitsubishi Corporation, all of Japan. Construction will be carried out by Chador Malu Mining & Industrial Company of Iran.

The pellets will be used at the Mobarakeh steel complex, which is being upgraded and renovated by the Italian arms of Germany’s SMS Demagand Argentina’s Techint, and the local Irasco(MEED 22:6:01).