Iran to open Al Sadr power plant phase 2 in Iraq

The second unit of the Iranian-built Al Sadr power plant in Iraq will come on stream in 30 days, the managing director of Iran Power & Water Export of Equipment and Services Company (Sunir), Mohammad Parsa, said here.

The power plant's first unit came on stream in April, Mehr news agency reported.

The $150 million, 320-megawatt power plant, constructed on 25 acres in the Sadr City in northeastern Baghdad, has two 160-MW turbines.

"No power station of this size has been installed in Baghdad in years," Iraqi electricity ministry spokesman Musab al-Mudarres said, Reuters reported.

Iraq needs more than 15,000 megawatts to meet peak summer demand. Its supply this summer is projected to be just 7,000 megawatts, the electricity minister said last month.

The new turbines would bring total capacity of the plant to 640 MW.

The turbines can be run on natural gas or gasoil. Each unit needs 1 million liters of gasoil a day, which requires 80 fuel tanker trucks to travel to the site every day.

Sunir is in negotiations with the ministry to install a natural gas pipeline between Iran and Iraq to feed the Sadr City power station and another in northern Baghdad, Sunir Vice President Amir Anvari said.

Iranian Deputy Energy Minister Mohammad Behzad said in February that Al Sadr power plant in Iraq is an important project. He said Iran's electricity export to Iraq will expand, adding that the Islamic republic is plans to build eleven more power plant units and new transmission lines to the tune of 2 gigawatts in that country.

"Currently we're exporting 750-800 MW," he said, adding, "With the construction of the 400 KW Karkheh-Al-Amarah power line, the amount of electricity exported to Iraq will climb to over one GW," Behzad explained.

The Karkheh-Al-Amarah power line project is being carried out by Iran's Tavanir Company.

He added that the Iranian ministry of energy has plans to export electricity to Lebanon via Iraq and Syria.

Apart from Iraq, the Islamic Republic exports power to other countries, including Afghanistan, the Republic of Azerbaijan, Pakistan, and Turkey, and imports electricity from Armenia and Turkmenistan.

Meanwhile, Iran and India reached an agreement in 2010 to jointly construct power plants and exchange electricity.

Construction of new power plants in the two states and the exchange of about 6,000 megawatts of electricity were envisaged in the agreement between Tehran and New Delhi.

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