Iranian and Italian companies have agreed on the construction of a steel mill with the annual production capacity of 1 million ton in the Southeastern city of Sirjan, a senior industry official announced on Saturday. The agreement was reached between the MMTE Engineering and Construction Company and the Italian Tenoa Company, Managing-Director of the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) Mehdi Karbasiyan said. Karbasiyan stressed that the Sirjan steel plant will be inaugurated by March 2015, and said, “About 500 people are currently working in the factory and after the inauguration of its steel manufacturing section more than 1,500 new job opportunities will be created.” MMTE Engineering and Construction Company is one of the first Iranian engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors in the steel industry specializing in management, engineering, procurement and construction of direct reduction, pelletizing and steel making plants. The World Steel Association (WSA) recently declared “Iran as the largest steel producer in the Middle-East and North Africa”. According to WSA’s report, Iran produced 14.463 million tons of crude steel in 2012, and was named the first largest producer of crude steel in the Middle-East and North Africa. The country’s main steel mills are located in Isfahan and Khuzestan provinces. Iran has risen its steel production output by more than 9 percent, the WSA announced in January, adding that the country is now the world’s 15th steel producer. Among 62 world major steel producers, Iran jumped two steps higher and became the world\'s 15th steel producer in 2012, the report said. Iran ranked above UK, Spain and Canada.