The Middle East’s largest heavy equipment manufacturer Hepco has been awarded with a major contract to make new mining dump trucks as the Iranian company struggles to take a better share of an expanding mining and metals market in the country.
Hepco’s deputy CEO Alireza Mighani said on Wednesday that the company would soon start manufacturing the dumpers after securing a contract worth 3.3 trillion rials ($12.2 million).
Speaking to the semi-official Fars news agency, Mighani did not elaborate on who had ordered the new dump trucks. However, Hepco normally supplies such equipment to mining companies run by IMIDRO, Iran’s state-run metals and mining conglomerate.
Mighani said a new administrative government that came to office in early August had offered better support to Hepco’s drive to supply home-made equipment to the mining sector in Iran.
He said Hepco is well capable of supplying the dumpers needed in the Iranian mining sites despite repeated attempts to import second-hand machines from abroad.
Relying on nearly four decades of experience in the sector, the Heavy Equipment Production Company has managed to localize production for major earth-moving equipment in Iran.
Iran was facing a shortage of mining dumper trucks nearly a decade ago because of foreign sanctions imposed over its nuclear program.
The lifting of those bans in 2016 allowed major brands like Komatsu and Caterpillar to return to the Iranian market while leaving local manufacturers of like Hepco to grapple with losses.
However, the company rose from the ashes in 2018 when the United States imposed its sanctions on Iran after pulling out of a 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran.
The sanctions have caused a boom in Iran’s mining sector as the country seeks to offset losses suffered in crude sales with higher exports of metals and mining products.
Mighani said that Hepco had also secured a separate $5-million contract to manufacture dozens of mining trucks and excavators.