Iran 3rd Top Dam Builder

Iran 3rd Top Dam Builder
Iran 3rd Top Dam Builder

Iran is the third leading country in dam construction, operating projects in 40 countries, said deputy energy minister Sattar Mahmoudi, ISNA reported.

Thirty Iranian firms have undertaken 88 global water and electricity projects worth $4.3 billion, including projects in South American nations such as Cuba, Bolivia and Venezuela.

Other notable hydroelectric projects include the 'Uma Oya' dam power plant in Sri Lanka, designed to supply electricity to a thousand villages, construction of Sang Toudeh II and Raghoun dams in Tajikistan, Heydarieh power plant, Karbala and Kirkuk refineries and Rawanduz dam in Iraq and the establishment of 6 refineries in Sudan.

Iran's dam building capacity has significantly improved in the past three decades, with some 200 contracting companies, 70 consultant firms and 30 corporations as well as hundreds of hydroelectric manufacturing units having been established inside the country.

Close to 110 kilometers (km) of water diversion tunnels for hydroelectric plants have also been constructed, with 180km of tunnels for carrying water near completion and 200km under construction. According to Mahmoudi, another 1000km of tunnels are due to be constructed based on the 20-Year Vision. He stressed that Iran is one of the few countries with the capacity to design and construct dams.

Approved by Iran's Expediency Council in 2002, the 20-Year Vision (2005-2025) is designed to promote the country's position in national, regional and international levels in which Iran becomes a developed country in twenty years, with the first economic, scientific and technical position in the region. Mahmoudi insisted that new dam projects will be undertaken by taking into account various environmental factors.

"We will not commence any project unless we obtain the necessary environmental permits," he said, adding that social impacts of dam building in every region should be taken into account, and residents may not realize the importance of dam construction in their area.

The planning director of the oil ministry Alireza Daemi also asserted that social and environmental factors should be a priority in dam construction.

"Construction of dam is widely viewed as an engineering process, whereas it's necessary to consider environmental factors when building dams." He added that people in dry areas are flocking to other places due to water shortage and negligence in establishing adequate infrastructures for distributing water.

"Water level in border regions is alarming," he said. "Climate change is inevitable. Add to that the four-fold increase of the world population and the increased temperature of the Earth."