Energy Ministry $9b in the Red

Energy Ministry $9b in the Red
Energy Ministry $9b in the Red

The energy ministry's debt has risen to $9.4 billion and the issue should be addressed in the national budget for the next Iranian calendar year (March 2015-March 2016), energy minister Hamid Chitchian said in a meeting with high-ranking officials, Moj news agency reported.

Chitchian stressed that the ministry has paid less than 10 percent of its debt to privately-owned power plants and the Damavand combined cycle power plant in southeast Tehran is the only unit with 60 percent of its credit having been cleared.

He stressed that the ministry has been operating with difficulty, and a framework should be anticipated in next year's budget to allow the ministry to pay its debt.

The ministry is facing a 3.6 loss in the present Iranian calendar year (ending March 2014). "There is a significant gap between the ministry's income and costs," he noted.

The ministry also aims to reduce the waste of electricity to less than 10 percent. If successful, fuel consumption in power plants will be cut by $1.9 billion.

Energy consumption has increased by 7 percent in the present year, however, energy production has risen by 2 percent.