Tehran, Stockholm Discuss Energy Projects

Tehran, Stockholm  Discuss Energy Projects Tehran, Stockholm  Discuss Energy Projects

A 31-strong delegation of Swedish businessmen and officials explored grounds for cooperation in energy and power sectors in separate meetings with high-ranking Iranian officials in Tehran.

In a meeting between Iran's Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian and Sweden's Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg, the two sides discussed energy projects in the post-sanctions Iran.

"Swedish enterprises' involvement with Iran's water and renewable energy projects will further strengthen economic relations between the two states," Chitchian was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency on Sunday.

"Iran's energy sector can develop its technical knowhow in various areas, including wastewater treatment strategies, judicious consumption approaches and curbing water demand alternatives with the help of renowned Swedish companies."

Underscoring Swedish companies' state-of-the-art technology, the Iranian minister added, "They can collaborate with the Energy Ministry to build cutting-edge plants to treat wastewater containing heavy metals and nitrate."

According to Chitchian, Swedish credit institutions can also finance Iranian water, wastewater and electricity projects on condition that their credibility is approved by Iran.

"Iran can substantially benefit from Sweden's knowhow in management of surface and underground water resources, as this country has ample experience dealing with problems of similar nature on national and international spectra," he said.

Pointing to power sector's plans to generate 50,000 megawatts of electricity from solar, nuclear, wind and thermal power plants in 10 years, Chitchian said, "Contrary to the past when we focused on constructing large power plants, our focus has shifted toward small-scale power plants with distributed generation system as well as cogeneration or combined heat and power."

“Currently, all DG and combined heat and power plants nationwide have a production capacity of 700 MW,” he added.

Distributed generation refers to electricity that is produced in small quantities near the point of use. It reduces the cost, complexity and inefficiency associated with transmission and distribution, while offsetting peak electricity demand and stabilizing the local grid.

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

The Iranian minister noted that plans have been made to develop smart infrastructures in the electricity sector so that power transmission lines can also be utilized to transfer data to subscribers, announcing that Swedish multinational provider of communications technology and services, Ericsson, has already expressed readiness to take care of the IT development projects.

Referring to expansion of smart electricity grid, especially distribution lines, Chitchian said, "We have been using 400 kilovolt networks, and in case Swedish companies show interest, we can transform the existing networks to 765 kV ones."

"Iran's lucrative energy market is our number one choice in the Middle East," Damberg said.

Underlining Swedish companies' participation in Iran's development projects even during the sanctions, he said, "We are ready to invest in and cooperate with Iran's energy sector. Moreover, we are making an attempt to establish long-term sustainable relations with the Persian Gulf country whose energy potentials are still untapped."


  Joint Ventures

In a separate meeting on Saturday, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh discussed joint ventures related to energy efficiency and petrochemical production as well as manufacture of machinery and equipment with the Swedish envoy.

Zanganeh referred to Volvo and Scania industrial groups as Swedish automotive brands already operating in Iran and said the country is in need of modernizing its transportation system, stressing that "tens of thousands of old trucks and buses must be replaced".

Pointing to high fuel consumption of heavy vehicles in Iran, the Iranian minister said, "Cooperation with Swedish companies will allow us to cut fuel consumption."

According to reports, Sweden has one of the lowest levels of emissions among members of the European Union and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. It has embarked on a path toward a fossil-free economy by 2030.   

Urging Swedish investors to embrace Iran's petrochemical industry, he said the Persian Gulf country provides petrochemical complexes with the most inexpensive feedstock in the whole region.

"There has been cooperation in oil industrial machinery with Swedish manufacturers, which can start, once the sanctions are lifted, joint production of machinery with Iranian companies," he said.

Zanganeh said the jointly manufactured machinery could be sold in regional markets, in addition to the Iranian market.