Prequalification documents for the project are to be submitted by the end of 2003, allowing a tender to be issued in the first quarter of 2004 and a contract to be awarded by the end of the year.

The smelter expansion will involve the installation of 110,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of new capacity by 2008, with half that amount to come on stream in 2007. Iran Aluminium Company, which owns AAC, has budgeted the project at about $480 million. The Almahdi smelter, located at Bandar Abbas in the south, has capacity of 110,000 t/y, with a further 55,000 t/y due to come on stream in 2004 and another 55,000 t/y in 2005. The plant’s ultimate capacity will be 330,000 t/y.

The local aluminium production sector also includes the Arak smelter, where final capacity of 110,000 t/y will be commissioned next year, and the Kashan recycling plant, which produces 20,000 t/y. In addition, the country produces 560,000 t/y of alumina.