Power Production Capacity to Exceed 120,000 MW

Power Production Capacity  to Exceed 120,000 MWPower Production Capacity  to Exceed 120,000 MW

Iran's power production capacity will rise by 50,000 megawatts in 10 years, boosting the country's total installed power capacity to more than 120,000 MW, Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said.

"Plans call for increasing the country's electricity generation capacity by 5,000 MW a year to reach the 50,000 MW target by 2025," he said, referring to the 20-Year Vision Plan in which the Islamic Republic is set to become a developed country in 20 years, with the first economic, scientific and technical rank in the region, Fars News Agency reported.

Iran's nominal power generation capacity stands at around 74,000, with 61,000 MW coming from thermal power plants, 12,000 MW from hydroelectric plants and only 1,000 MW from nuclear power.

In addition, decommissioning dilapidated power plants will make room for new plants with higher production capacity and efficiency, Chitchian said, noting that the efficiency of power plants nationwide should rise to 58%.

The efficiency of Iran's power plants was put at 37% last year, but it is scheduled to reach 57% within three years and ultimately close in on the global standard of 85%.

Improving power plants' efficiency will help reduce fuel consumption, save generation costs and protect the environment.

The country is now the largest exporter and importer of electricity in the Middle East. It exports electricity to Armenia, Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq and Afghanistan, and has swap agreements with Azerbaijan and Armenia.

  Power Plant Talks

The minister's statements come on the heels of a meeting with his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak in Tehran on Wednesday, in which the two sides discussed the presence of Russian companies in Iran's booming energy projects in the post-sanctions period.

"Three rounds of high-level talks were held with Russian energy officials over the past two years, but the two sides had never been closer to penning deals," Chitchian said on Wednesday's meeting.

Russian contractors will establish a steam power plant with two 350-MW units in the port city of Bandar Abbas and help modernize a Russian-built power plant in the Persian Gulf country, the official said without elaboration.

Tehran and Moscow are also mulling the construction of the second phase of Bushehr's Nuclear Power Plant in southern Iran.

In a televised interview with Russia 24 TV channel on Friday, Novak put the cost of building the second phase at $11 billion. “The project is being considered,” he said.

The construction of Iran's first nuclear power plant started in 1995. The 1,000-MW plant officially went operational in September 2011, generating electricity at 40% of its capacity. Novak also said Russia's state-owned Gazprom has offered to swap gas with Iran across the Caspian Sea, with similar oil deals also under consideration.

"We could supply gas to Iran's north and receive gas from the south of Iran via swap deals in the form of liquefied natural gas or pipeline gas," Novak said.

  Russians at GECF

Russian President Vladimir Putin's participation in the upcoming Gas Exporting Countries Forum in Tehran depends on his schedule, but Russia's presence at the forum will be at a high level, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

"The decision has not been made so far, the decision will be made depending on [Putin's] schedule. Russia will be in any case presented there on a high level," Peskov told reporters.

The convention–scheduled to be held on November 23 in the Iranian capital—unites leading natural gas exporting countries and coordinates cooperation between its member states. Iran, Russia, Algeria, Qatar, Libya, Venezuela and the UAE are the forum's permanent members. The Netherlands, Norway, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Oman and Peru hold observer status.

GECF’s main goal is to monitor global gas market and facilitate exchange of information and experiences among member states.