Iran seeking to import more electricity from Azerbaijan

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 25

By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iran is seeking to increase the volume of electricity imports from Azerbaijan, Iran's Deputy Energy Minister Houshang Falahatian said.

"A group of experts will travel to Azerbaijan in the near future to negotiate for importing electricity from the country. Although Azerbaijan has announced that it cannot export more than 100 megawatts of electricity to Iran, but we have announced readiness to import up to 400 megawatts of electricity," Iran's Fars news agency quoted Falahatian as saying May 25.

At present, main electricity exporters to Iran are Turkmenistan (350 megawatts) and Armenia (300 megawatts), he noted.

Iran's Energy Ministry owes around $10 billion to the banking system and domestic contractors, Falahatian said. The ministry owes $2.5 billion to banks and $2.8 billion to contractors, and the rest of the debt is related to electricity sellers, he added.

It is planned that thermal and combined cycle power plants with a total output of 7,100 megawatts are to be constructed over the course of three years, the official said.

The projects will cost 6 billion euros, he said, adding that the private sector should provide the fund through receiving loans and concluding buy-back contracts.

"The private sector has put in a request for exporting 14,000 megawatts of electricity to the neighboring countries. The Energy Ministry will give permission to the private sector to conclude contracts with foreign partners."

The peak of electricity consumption is forecast to reach 51,000 megawatts in summer, compared to 48,600 megawatts last summer, he said.

Iran's electricity generation capacity is currently 68,932 megawatts, of which 57,541 megawatts is generated by thermal power plants, 9,686 megawatts is generated by hydroelectric power plants, 1,020 megawatts is generated by nuclear power plants, 466 megawatts is generated by distributed generation power plants, and 219 megawatts is generated by renewable energy power plants.

Since last summer, nine power stations with a total output of 1,045 megawatts came on stream, Majid Salehi, the managing director of Iran Power Development Company, said on May 3.

Two other power stations with a total capacity of 187 megawatts will also come on stream by this summer, he added.

Edited by CN

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