Iran's inefficient power plants
By Dalga Khatinoglu
For a country like Iran with an 8-percent power consumption growth annually, managing the power generation is vital.
Iran plans to boost the efficiency of thermal power plants, which shares 57.5 GW of the country's total 68 GWh power generation capacity.
Hamid Chitchian, Iran's Energy Minister told Shana on March 4 that some 120 trillion rials ($4.8 billion based on official USD rate in Iran on March.4) has been allocated based on pay-back contracts during current fiscal year's budget law to increase the efficiency of thermal power plants (TPP).
Iran's fiscal year started on March 20, 2013. Some 120 trillion rials were allocated in the next year's budget law to improve TPPs' efficiency as well.
He went on saying that the TPPs' efficiency is aimed to increase from its current 37.5 percent to 50 percent.
Iran's TTPs produces 57.5 GW electricity, equal to 210 GWh, and shares about 85 percent of the country's total electricity generation capacity. However, the country's thermal power generation in reality shares about 94 percent of total power output.
The statistics released by Energy Ministry in November 2013 indicate that TTPs shared 93.7 percent of the country's total power output during first nine months of the current Iranian fiscal year.
Iranian government has been obliged based on its law on 'Subsidy Reform Plan' to increase the power plant's efficiency to 45 percent from 2010 to 2015, however, the statistics released during 2013 indicates that the TTPs' efficiency has increased just 0.3 percent since 2010.
Iran has aimed to change all of gas PPs into combined cycle power plants (CCPP). The efficiency of gas PPs in Iran is about 31 percent while CCPPs is 45 percent.
A CCPP is a plant that employs more than one thermodynamic cycle, combining a gas turbine and a steam turbine in an electric generation plant. The heat lost during production of power from the gas turbine is used to drive the steam turbine.
Iran's power output increased 4 percent during last fiscal year, while the annual demand growth rate is about 8 percent in the country. Iran needs to increase power generation by 5 GW each year.
Homayoon Haeri the managing director of Iran Power Generation Transmission & Distribution Management Company (TAVANIR) said on Jan.28 that about 20 GW gas PPs in the country are changeable into CCPP.
Alongside a 15 percent efficiency increase, replacing gas PPs with CCPPs can provide opportunity for Iran to economize $11 bln fuel usage annually, according to Haeri's statement.
Gas shares 60 percent of fuel usage in Iranian TPPs, while it's expected that the value of liquid fuel used in TPPs during current fiscal year to reach more than 30 billion liters.
Dalga Khatinoglu is Trend Persian Service head
Edited by C.N.