What goals were outlined at the beginning of the formation of the Persian Gulf Special Zone and how much of these goals have been achieved so far?
The most important goal of the formation of the Persian Gulf Special Zone was to create an industrial zone with the focus on the development of metal industries and mainly for export and partly for import. In addition to the development of metal industries, the development of other industries was also on the agenda, and these goals were considered due to the existing infrastructure, especially piers, rails and other facilities. Meanwhile, Mobarakeh Steel Company was supposed to be established in Hormozgan, but this was not possible after the revolution. Meanwhile, Al-Mahdi Aluminum Company was established as the first aluminum producer after the revolution in the west of Bandar Abbas (the current site of the Persian Gulf Special Zone before the formation and official registration of this region) and began to produce aluminum. The combination of these issues led the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) to conclude in the early 1980s that a special zone should be established on the west coast of Bandar Abbas with a focus on metal industries. Of course, there were other industries in the region, but the most important goal was the development of metal industries. In addition, ancillary and downstream industries were also one of the goals of the formation of the special zone, among which we can mention the manufacturers of steel structures and parts, and the location of these industries has also been done. These goals were drawn due to the proximity of the Persian Gulf Special Zone to Shahid Rajaei Port, as the largest commercial port in the country in exports and imports.
Due to the advantage of being next to the ports, added value was included in Imidro’s plans. It should be noted that at that time, gas and oil refineries were also built, and due to the construction of downstream oil and gas industries, the export of these products from the Persian Gulf Special Zone will be accompanied by added value.
What are the strategic potentials of the Persian Gulf Special Zone in terms of political geography?
The Persian Gulf Special Zone is located next to the largest sea gate in the country, namely Shahid Rajaei Port. In addition, in front of this special area and the coast of Bandar Abbas, there is Qeshm Island, which acts as a big breakwater and helps to balance the coast and the waves to settle. Meanwhile, in terms of manpower and population potential, Bandar Abbas is one of the largest cities in Iran.
Hormozgan province and Shahid Rajaee port are the transit centers of many basic goods from other countries to Central Asian countries such as Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan; Meanwhile, this province has access to large gas resources and fields such as Sarkhon. It should be noted that the peace pipeline, which was supposed to deliver gas from Iran to Pakistan and then to India, passed through this area and one of its sources of gas supply was from the gas fields of Hormozgan province.
It is important to note that the Southern Aluminum Company (Salco) was originally supposed to be located and built in the Persian Gulf Special Zone, but some managers at the time, due to its proximity to Assaluyeh (the gas capital of the world), insisted on building it in They had gas next to this huge gas field. However, Imidro’s foreign consultant at the time considered Bandar Abbas (the current location of the Persian Gulf Special Zone) to be the best place to build a southern aluminum plant, according to surveys. Unfortunately, after a while, it was decided that the southern aluminum would not be built in Assaluyeh, nor in the Persian Gulf Special Zone, and moved to its current location, which also cost a lot of infrastructure.
Hormozgan province, due to its location in the middle of the Oman Sea and the Persian Gulf, can even be a highway connecting the west to the east and vice versa, and can be one of the development steps of Makran coast. For this reason, this province is one of the attractive places for investment, and in the early eighties, Imidro introduced the beaches of Bandar Abbas as the best place to invest in the steel industry to government officials. It was after this time that with the development of two large steel companies, namely Hormozgan Steel and Kaveh Steel, south of Kish, we witnessed the sending of investments in the steel industry to Hormozgan province.
In your opinion, what successes has the Persian Gulf Special Zone achieved in the development of the mining industry in recent years?
Steel companies, according to the advantages in this region, are well formed, among which we can mention Kaveh South Kish Steel, Hormozgan Steel, Saba Persian Gulf Steel, Madkush Pelletizing and others. Al-Mahdi Aluminum Company was present in the Persian Gulf Special Zone, and then Hormozal Company was added as the second aluminum producer in this region and came to fruition. Refinery industries, including the Persian Gulf refinery, have also been formed and developed. Another success of this region in the development, construction and development of railways, especially wagons and barges, has been that one of the most advanced railways in the country has been built in the Persian Gulf Special Zone and is under development. In addition, the wharves of this region, according to export and import advantages, have been designed and implemented in an advanced manner, and this development is still ongoing.
The recently commissioned Auxin power plant was another development project that was proposed in the early 1980s, and fortunately, with the pursuit of Imidro and its investor, Ghadir Investment Company, the first phase, the gas plant, has been completed. In addition, this power plant has the ability to become a combined cycle power plant that is being pursued.
Development in the Persian Gulf Special Zone continues in earnest, and due to the unique potential of this region compared to other special zones in the country, more attention should be paid to it to form a new investment hub in the metal industry.
What is your vision for the development of the region and the country’s economy for the Persian Gulf Special Zone, and what measures should the region take to achieve it?
With the great potentials mentioned above, the Persian Gulf Special Zone will definitely have a bright future in terms of investment and production. Those in charge of the special zone must seriously pursue development in it, and with the efforts of these managers, the development of the country’s industry will surely bear fruit. Attracting domestic and foreign capital should be the most important goal of managers. Although it is very difficult to attract foreign investment at the moment, when the country is under pressure from numerous sanctions, many foreign investors will prefer the coastline, especially Hormozgan province, due to its infrastructural potentials after their presence in Iran. Gave; For this reason, you should make the most of these conditions.