Senior Iranian government ministers and an economic aide to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution have attended a ceremony in the capital Tehran to kick-start a major project for domestic production of petroleum coke. a raw material highly needed in the country’s metals sector.
The IRIB News said in a Monday report that the two Iranian refineries had agreed to launch production for petcokes. including the needle and sponge types. for consumption in steel mills and aluminum smelters across the country. Presstv Reported.
The deals stipulate that the Bandar Abbas refinery in southern Iran would reach an output of 620.000 tons of sponge coke per year within the next two years while the Shazand refinery. located in central Iran. is expected to produce 70.000 tons of needle coke per year as soon as production starts in the facility. said the report.
Iran has been a major importer of cokes that are vastly used as fuels in the steel and aluminum industry.
As part of the deals. the refineries will replace a bulk of their mazut production with petcokes. said Alireza Sadeqabadi. a deputy oil minister while adding that the production of sponge coke in Bandar Abbas would be two times the domestic demand for the raw material.
Sadeqabadi expressed hope the contracts signed on Monday would reach the engineering. procurement and construction phase in the next Iranian calendar year starting late March.
The signing ceremony was attended by Ali Aqamohammadi. who serves as the president of the economy group at the office of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
Aqamohammadi said a main reason for launching petcoke production in Iran was the fact that the United States had imposed sanctions on Iran’s import of graphite electrode. the main heating element used in electric arc furnaces of the steel industry.