Iran's first private combined cycle power plant comes on stream
Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec.1/ Trend F.Milad/
Iran's first private combined cycle power plant was officially inaugurated in Reshvanshahr, northern province of Gilan on Saturday.
The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended the inauguration ceremony, the ILNA News Agency reported.
The power plant has the capacity to generate 968 megawatt hours of electricity.
The project came on stream at the cost of 570 million euros.
Some 1,000 job opportunities were created by commissioning the power plant.
Energy minister Majid Namjou said on November 25 that by commissioning two hydroelectric power plants in near future, Iran's installed power generation capacity will reach 70GW.
The private sector will soon start the construction operations of three power plants, the Mehr News agency quoted Majid Namjou as saying.
Namjou said earlier in November that the Iranian energy ministry allows the private sector to construct power plants and export electricity.
"The private sector can sign contracts with other countries and the energy ministry will provide the electricity," he said.
Namjou said on November 20 that Iran will start exporting electricity to Lebanon in near future.
"Exporting electricity to Lebanon is one of the energy ministry's top priorities," he said.
India will also build a new power plant in Iran to import electricity from the country.
"Iran plans to export 6,000 megawatt hours of electricity to India and Pakistan," Namjou said.
The proposed power plant has the capacity to produce 6,000 megawatt hours of electricity. India will import 4,000 megawatt hours and some 2,000 megawatt hours will be exported to Pakistan.
Iran seeks to become a major regional exporter of electricity and has attracted more than $1.1 billion in investments for the construction of three new powerplants.
Iran's installed power generation capacity is currently about 67 gigawatts (GW).
The Energy Ministry plans to increase the electricity generation capacity by 5GW this calendar year, which ends on March 20, 2013.
Last year, Iran exported 8.6 billion kilowatt hours of electricity to its neighboring countries and the figure is projected to hit 10 billion kilowatt hours, he noted.
By the end of the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (March 2016), Iran will boost its electricity generation capacity by 25GW to reach 73GW, Namjou said on February 7.
Iran currently trades power with Turkey, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq.