Energy Ministry Endorses Foreign Investment Plans

Energy Ministry Endorses Foreign Investment Plans
Energy Ministry Endorses Foreign Investment Plans

The Energy Ministry endorses foreign investors' plans aimed at reducing electricity wastage in the country, deputy energy minister said on Thursday.

Houshang Falahatian made the statement on the sidelines of the 12th International Energy Exhibition (Kish ENEX 2016) that opened in Kish on Monday, IRNA reported.

Falahatian noted that curbing power wastage in pavement lighting systems and replacing high consuming electrical household appliances with low consumption gadgets top the ministry's priorities, which create investment opportunities for foreigners.

Tens of foreign companies participated in the four-day energy event, which is the first after Iran and the West reached the historic nuclear deal in July to lift sanctions against the country in lieu of curbs on its nuclear program.

Underscoring the fast investment return in power plants' development projects, which is maximum two years, the official noted that $166 million in investment are required to complete the steam block of a 160-megawatt combined cycle power plant, including the gas turbine, heat recovery steam generator, steam turbine and cooling systems.

According to the official, power plants normally incur no expenses after two years. Moreover, Iran's energy sector enjoys untapped resources and committed workforce, which can be appealing for both private sector and foreign investors.

Energy consumption in Iran is worrying and if the current trend continues, the total amount of energy generated in the country will have to be used domestically by 2025.

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.

Falahatian believes that attracting investment in energy sector can help lower unemployment by creating numerous job opportunities, which explains why those who show interest in funding water and wastewater, electricity and power plant projects will be strongly supported.

"Plans have been made to attract foreign investment for modernizing power plants, developing substations and building wastewater treatment plants and desalination units," he said, noting that foreign enterprises are expected to cooperate with Iranian companies.

State-of-the-art knowhow transfer to Iran will be an inseparable part of project contracts that can be either in the form of build–own–operate or build–own–operate–transfer contracts wherein a private entity receives a concession from the private or public sector to finance, design, construct and operate a facility. This enables the project proponent to recover its investment, operating and maintenance expenses in the project.

Bahram Nezamolmolki director general of the Energy Ministry's Office for Developing Export of Technical and Engineering Services, also said Iran has taken major steps for the development of water and electricity industries by Iranian experts.

"Water and energy sectors account for 90% of technical and engineering services' exports in Iran," he said.  

According to the exhibition's website, about 200 companies from China, Turkey, the Netherlands, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Azerbaijan, Malaysia, France, Austria, the UAE, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Australia and Russia will take part in the energy expo, which will focus on investment.

The number of foreign companies coming to Iran for Kish ENEX 2016 shows a big rise, compared to the previous edition.

About 60 companies from China, South Korea, Italy, Germany, Turkey, France, the Netherlands and India participated in last year's event.