Ministry to Expedite Turkmen Power Project

Ministry to Expedite Turkmen Power ProjectMinistry to Expedite Turkmen Power Project

Iran and Turkmenistan are determined to expedite the construction of 400-kilovolt Mary-Sarakhs power transmission line, deputy energy minister said on Wednesday.

"Completion and exploitation of the 400-kV line tops the Energy Ministry's agenda and a new round of negotiations was held in Tehran with the chairman of Turkmenenergo State Electric Energy Corporation Rasul Annayev," Houshang Falahatian was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Falahatian noted that the construction of the line has finished in Iran up to Turkmenistan's border and plans have been made to obtain the licenses to complete the rest of the line inside Turkmenistan.

Referring to his trip to Ashgabat and talks with Turkmenistan's Energy Minister Davranmamed Rejepov, Falahatian said, "The two sides agreed on the plan to finance the project. Interestingly, Afghanistan and Turkey will repay their debts to Iran by transferring $15 million and $5 million respectively to the Turkmen company so that it can fund the first phase of the project."

According to the official, Turkmenenergo State Electric Energy Corporation is to announce its readiness to commence the project upon returning to Ashgabat and conducting studies.

"Financial constraints of the plan will be removed in less than two months as soon as sanctions [imposed on Iran] become a thing of the past," he said, adding that the inauguration of the 400-kV line will lead to a big rise in electricity swap between the two states.

Feasibility studies of the 400-kV Mary-Sarakhs power transmission line started seven years ago and the 170-kilometer line was completed in four years at an estimated cost of $100 million.

Iran will complete the rest of the project (165 km) in Turkmenistan's territory as soon as a contract valued at $100 million is signed between the two sides.      

Iran’s electricity industry ranks 14th in the world and first in the Middle East in terms of electricity generation with an installed power generation capacity of 74,000 MW.

The country is the largest exporter and importer of electricity in the Middle East and exports electricity to Armenia, Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq and Afghanistan. Azerbaijan and Armenia supply electricity to Iran under a swap agreement.

Mary, a city in the Karakum Desert, is located on Murghab River. It is the capital city of Mary Province, Turkmenistan. Sarakhs is a city in Khorasan Razavi Province, Iran.