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Gas use at Iranian iron sector up by nearly 14% in 4 years to 2020: Official

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran’s Oil Ministry official says gas usage at Iranian iron sector rose by nearly 14% in four years to 2020.

Iran’s iron sector has been responsible for the largest chunk of gas usage increase in the country in recent years, according to a senior Oil Ministry official who insists that the sector should contribute more to investments needed to raise natural gas output in Iran in the upcoming years.

Deputy Oil Minister for Planning Houshang Falahatian said on Sunday that gas consumption by Iranian steelmakers and sponge iron producers had increased by 13.7% in the four years to 2020.

Falahatian said that the increase was nearly double the figures seen in other industries and nearly triple the average rise in the total amount of gas usage in Iran.

The official insisted that the Iranian iron sector, which is one of the largest in the world in terms of output, should contribute more to a projected investment of $80 billion needed for expansion and maintenance of natural gas production in the country in the years to come.

Figures show that Iran and India are responsible for more than half of the global supply of sponge iron, a product that is widely used in the steelmaking processes around the world. However, unlike India where coal is mostly used to reduce iron ore, Iranian manufacturers normally burn natural gas to produce sponge iron.

Falahatian said that production of steel ingot in Iran is also dependent on electricity generated in gas-fired power plants.

He said lack of investment in natural gas production by Iranian steelmakers would leave them struggle with restricted supplies during cold or warm months of year when demand for natural gas in the household sector reaches record levels.

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