MAPNA director: Iran needs to make electricity production cheaper

Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec.18 /Trend's F. Milad/

Iran needs to find some way to make the electricity production process cheaper, the managing director of The Iran Power Plant Projects Management Company (MAPNA) said on Tuesday.

Some 55-60 percent of electricity prices are related to production cost and the rest is to distribution," Abbas Aliabadi said, the IRIB News Agency reported.

Aliabadi went on to note that electricity is vital for a country's development, and that fuel is a key factor in generating electricity.

"Currently, Iran uses coal for generating 40-43 percent of its electricity and it will continue to do so until 2040," he explained.

Iran also needs to invest in different power-related projects such as gas power plants, combined cycle power plants, hydroelectric power plants and wind power plants for the sake of energy diversity he said.

The managing director of The Iran Power Generation Transmission and Distribution Management Company (TAVANIR), Homayoun Haeri, announced on December 15th that Iran is currently trading 12.3 gigawatt hours of electricity with neighboring countries.

Iran plans to boost its electricity cooperation with the Persian Gulf region's countries, the IRNA News Agency quoted Homayoun Haeri as saying.

Haeri had said in January that Iran will have exchanged up to 15 billion kilowatt hours (BkWh) of electricity with neighboring countries by the end of the current calendar year (March 19, 2012), up 50 percent this year.

It was announced on December 3rd that Iran, Iraq and Syria had connected their national power grids.

According to Iranian Deputy Energy Minister Mohammad Behzad, Iran annually exports 5 million Dollars' worth of electricity and technical and engineering services to its neighboring countries.

Based on a contract signed by Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, Tehran annually exports 2200-2500 megawatt hours of electricity valued at over one billion dollars to the mentioned states.

"The synchronization of the Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian and Lebanese power grids will create the largest electricity network in the Muslim World," Behzad said earlier this month.

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 power plants.

Iran's installed power generation capacity is currently about 67 gigawatts (GW).

The Energy Ministry plans to increase electricity generation capacity by 5GW this calendar year, which ends on March 20, 2013.

By the end of the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (March 2016), Iran will boost its electricity generation capacity by 25 GW to reach 73GW, Iranian Energy Minister Majid Namjou said on February 7th.

Iran currently trades power with Turkey, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq.

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