Power Capacity to Rise in 2016

Power Capacity  to Rise in 2016Power Capacity  to Rise in 2016

Iran's power production capacity will rise by 1,250 MW by summer 2016 upon the launch of several power generation projects, deputy energy minister told a news conference on Saturday.

"The projects include power plants in the cities of Mahshahr and Behbahan in south Iran, Ashkezar and Behabad counties in the central Yazd Province and several small power plants nationwide," Houshang Falahatian was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Electricity consumption in this year's markedly hot summer peaked at 50,177 megawatts, up from 46,600 MW during last summer's peak demand.

"Besides increasing power demand for electric heating equipment during the hot season, the 3,000-MW difference in power consumption mainly came from 1.4 million new electricity subscribers," he said.

Falahatian put the number of electricity subscribers nationwide at 32.3 million, with 650,000 new subscribers having joined the national power grid since March.

Total power production capacity has risen by 592 MW over the past seven months, including a total of 480 MW from three units at Seymareh Hydroelectric Power Plant in western Ilam Province, 87 MW from power plants with distributed generation and combined heat and power systems as well as 25 MW from other power generation sources.

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

Plans call for increasing the capacity by 5,000 MW annually over the next 10 years, raising the total installed power capacity to more than 120,000 MW by 2025.

However, energy officials seem to be struggling to realize the self-assigned 10-year target, as the combined capacity of all new power generation projects between March 2015 and the summer of 2016 does not exceed 2,000 MW. Iran’s electricity industry ranks 14th in the world and first in the Middle East in terms of electricity generation. It is the largest exporter and importer of electricity in the Middle East and exports electricity to Armenia, Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq and Afghanistan.

  Power Plants Efficiency

Falahatian said Iran's power plant efficiency on average was put at 37% last year, but plans call for boosting the figure to more than 40% in three years.

"Several deals have been finalized with foreign contractors to transform conventional power plants into combined-cycle plants, which would help reduce fuel consumption, save generation costs and protect the environment," he said.

Officials are planning to raise average efficiency of power plants to 58% by expanding the number of combined-cycle plants and ultimately close in on the global standard of 85%.

In addition, decommissioning dilapidated power plants will make room for new plants with higher production capacity.

The Persian Gulf country is keen to increase power production capacity from combined-cycle plants by 8,000 MW in the foreseeable future. Combined-cycle plants consume an equivalent of one-20th the energy needed by conventional plants. Such plants use both gas and steam turbines to produce up to 50% more electricity from the same fuel than a traditional simple-cycle plant.

As part of efforts to develop combined-cycle plants, the government last week approved the construction of four combined-cycle plants via direct foreign investment.

The power plants are expected to be built in five years with a total of 3,520 MW capacity.

Wastage at power distribution networks is also reduced to less than 11% from 15.1% from a year and a half ago, with plans calling for curbing wastage to less than 10% next year.

Falahatian said the power sector requires $5 billion in annual investment, which can be obtained through foreign direct investment or the National Development Fund of Iran.