0907 GMT April 23, 2021
IRNA reported on Thursday that the Kaveh Sodium Carbonate Plant was opened earlier in the day in an area to the west of the city of Firuzabad, in the province of Fars.
Reports said that the soda ash plant is the biggest of its kind in the Middle East region. The plant would employ 1,003 people at its initial output capacity of 320,000 tons a year.
Other reports said Kaveh plant’s production of sodium carbonate, a raw material used in making glass, soap, detergent, paper, textiles and food products, would reach nearly one million tons a year once a key water reservoir being built in its vicinity comes on line by March 2021.
The plant could generate nearly $200 million in export revenues once it reaches the one-million-ton output target, said the reports, adding that soda ash produced in the factory would reach customers in various countries from Indonesia to Greece.
A senior official from Fars governor general’s office said Iranian and Chinese manufacturers had supplied the machinery needed for the launch of the plant.
Zafar Afshoun said the plant had taken more than 10 years to build, adding that it would rely on eight nearby mines of salt and limestone for its supply of raw materials.
The opening of the plant comes several days after Rouhani defended his government policies to carry out heavy investments in Iran’s petrochemical and mining sectors.
Rouhani said investing in these sectors, even at the time of increased US sanctions, would guarantee that Iran’s economy emerges strong once it is relieved of the illegal American sanctions.