Minister: Iraq prepared to pay electricity import debt to Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 12

By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iraq has announced it is prepared to pay its debt electricity imports to Iran, IRIB quoted Iraqi Electricity Minister Karim Aftan as saying.

In a meeting with the Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian in Tehran, the Iraqi minister said the two sides had found a mechanism to pay the debt and there is no problem in this regard.

Iraq needs to import more electricity from Iran in order to secure a 24-hour supply of electricity Aftan said, adding that the way should be paved for Iranian companies to take part in tenders held in Iraq.

On November 2, Iranian Deputy Energy Minister Houshang Falahatian said Iran has accepted Iraq's demand to increase the volume of electricity exports by 500 megawatts.

"At present about 1500 megawatts of electricity is being exported to Iraq daily," Falahatian said.

Falahatian also remarked that Iraq has not paid yet its debts to Iran for electricity imports during the past few years.

In late September, Iranian media outlets quoted Managing Director of the Iran Power Generation Transmission and Distribution Management Company (TAVANIR), Homayoun Haeri as saying that Iraq owes Iran some $400 million for electricity imports.

Iran exports $800 million worth of electricity to neighbouring countries each year, he added.

Iran currently trades power with Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. The country's power generation capacity is currently at 68.38 GW.

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.

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