SANANDAJ, Iran—Razi Industrial Group has broken ground on the group's newest tire plant project, Razi Tire Co. in Sanandaj, Kordestan Province, according to sources in Iran.
The groundbreaking ceremony for Razi Tire—formerly known as Sabalan Tyre—was held concurrent with Iran's 10-day celebration of 1979 Islamic Revolution and was attended by the industry and mines minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh and the head of the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization (IDRO) Reza Norouzzadeh, sources told European Rubber Journal, a sister publication of Rubber & Plastics News.
Razi Tire is owned and run by the Ganji brothers, entrepreneurs who have two other tire projects in Iran: Artawheel Tire in Ardabil province and Yazd Tire in the central province of Yazd.
Razi Industrial owns 81 percent of Razi Tire; IDRO owns the remaining 19 percent. Sanandaj is a city of about 375,000 in western Iran close to the Iraq border.
Speaking to ERJ earlier in January, Kamran Afshar-Imani, vice president and member of the board of directors at Razi Tire, said construction work on the 50,000-metric-ton per year plant is expected start this spring 2016.
Afshar-Imani said at that time the company was in talks with major European technology and machinery suppliers, including Pirelli & C. S.p.a., HF Tire Tech Group and VMI Epe.
The plant will focus on passenger/SUV and all-steel light truck tires.
Sources in Iran have indicated that the preferred choice of finance is via European and Western banks, as Chinese banks require a high proportion of Chinese involvement in the investments and have high interest rates.
Razi Tire is one of four greenfield tire projects being pursued by the Iranian government to add 200,000 tons/year of local production capacity in the country.
Three of the four projects will be constructed in partnership between IDRO and private investors.
The fourth, to be constructed in Sistan-Balulchestan province bordering Pakistan will be championed by IDRO alone, as it has not been well received by private investors, sources said.
The construction on the first project, operated by Nikro Gostaresh Khorramabad Tire Co., started in July 2015. Amirali Zohreh-Nejad an Iranian entrepreneur whose father imports tires into the country, heads the company.
The final project, headed by Mitra Farzadnia, is to be completed in Kermanshah Province, where Farzadnia has her own tire cord company.