Iranian President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated a number of national industrial, infrastructural, health and treatment, sport and airport projects in the southern Iranian province of Fars in a video conference on Thursday.
The projects comprised the first phase of South Aluminum Company (SALCO) – Iran’s massive aluminum smelter – with a daily capacity of producing 120 tons of aluminum per day, a 124-bed hospital, a new airport terminal and a sports complex in the city of Lamerd, IRNA reported.
In an address to the inauguration ceremony, Rouhani said the transformation that has taken place in the domestic downstream and upstream industries is an outcome of the conditions the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and the P5+1 in July 2015, has led to.
He noted that among such industries, is Lamerd’s SALCO whose construction began in March 2015.
Appreciating efforts by the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, Rouhani said Iran’s mining industries faced a number of problems after the reimposition of unilateral sanctions by US President Donald Trump following his withdrawal from the JCPOA.
The president noted that to avoid any suspension in the activities of the country’s production units in the aftermath of the reimposition of the sanctions, the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, and its minister, Reza Rahmani, did a great job.
Commenting on the coming on stream of SALCO’s first phase, he said it became operational in a relatively short period of time, which is a good model to copy.
Rouhani said the project is being inaugurated after four years, appreciating efforts by the domestic private sector, Ghadir Investment Company, Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) and a consortium of the country’s banks.
Commenting on the aluminum plan on Wednesday, the industry minister said it would help Iran increase its production of aluminum by more than 63 percent in the current calendar year ending March 2021 to reach over 430,000 metric tons, Tasnim News Agency reported.
He said the country’s total aluminum output in the past Iranian calendar year (which ended March 19) topped 276,000 tons.
Rahmani said the country’s aluminum production would further jump in the year ahead with the opening of SALCO.
Rouhani said once SALCO becomes fully operational, the country’s aluminum output will double.
He added $1 million were invested in the project to construct SALCO.
Turning to Lamerd’s 124-bed hospital, Rouhani said the inauguration of this hospital is very important as the treatment center has been built using government’s financial assistance and people’s donations.
While inaugurating Lamerd’s new airport terminal, Roads and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Eslami presented a report announcing that 20 other important airport projects will be inaugurated by March 2021, which Rouhani described as good news.
In his report, Eslami said Iran’s airport capacity has increased by 10 million passengers since 2013 when the current administrative government took office.
He added that various projects had been completed in 15 Iranian airports over the past six years with an investment of around 20 trillion rials ($125 million), Press TV wrote.
Commenting on the new terminal, the minister said it would increase the capacity at Lamerd International Airport, a busy hub for flights between Iran and Arab countries of the region, by almost six times or 900,000 passengers per year.
The minister said plans are in place for adding new terminals and runways to the existing airports across Iran to further increase the capacity of the airports by another 10 million passengers per year.
Eslami said most of those airport projects are planned to be completed in Iran by March 2021.
“These airport projects include passenger terminals, runways, control towers, radar systems and navigation systems,” he said, adding that finishing those projects would greatly boost aviation safety in Iran.
Iranian airports currently have a capacity to handle over 60 million passengers a year. A main achievement for the current government in expanding the airport capacity came earlier this year when a modern terminal was added to the Imam Khomeini International Airport, located near the capital Tehran, to increase its capacity by five million passengers per year.