The Iranian Steel Producers Association (ISPA) has announced that Esfahan Steel Company (ESCO) has signed a $4.332m deal to export rail tracks to Afghanistan.

The new rail tracks will be utilised for various railway development projects, reported Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

Afghanistan is currently working towards the development of its railway infrastructure.

Last month, the governments of Iran and Afghanistan inaugurated the first railway link, connecting the two countries for enhancing trade.

While Afghanistan was in charge of constructing one part, some portions of the project were executed by Iran.

Iran started the domestic production of rail tracks six years ago after the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (known as RAI) made an agreement with ESCO on the manufacturing of rail tracks.

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By GlobalData

In November 2016, ESCO signed a deal with RAI to produce 40,000t of U33 rails and subsequently launched its rail production line. The value of the investment was around €28.2m.

In June 2018, RAI received the first domestically manufactured rail tracks, called National Rail.

Iranian Transport Minister Mohammad Eslami said: “Moving toward self-sufficiency in this sector is a must and delivery of the first cargo of the National Rail has been a big achievement in this regard.”

The new rails will comply fully with the latest international standards of rail production.

National Rails are currently being used in several railway development projects across the country, including Chabahar-Zahedan, Miyaneh-Ardebil, Yazd-Eghlid, Hamedan-Sanandaj, Bostanabad-Tabriz, and Rasht-Caspian.