Seimareh Dam, Power Plant Inaugurated

Seimareh Dam, Power Plant InauguratedSeimareh Dam, Power Plant Inaugurated

National and local officials inaugurated a dam and power plant in Seimareh, Ilam Province, on Thursday.

Seimareh Dam, which has a storage capacity of 2.8 billion cubic meters of water, is constructed on Seimareh River that passes through Lorestan and Ilam provinces, Shana reported.

The dam is aimed at regulating the river’s water and floodwaters in the mountainous area, supplying water to downstream zones, developing the region’s agriculture and creating jobs. The 480-megawatt Seimareh Power Plant will help stabilize the national electricity grid.

According to officials, the construction of the dam and the power plant has cost the government $387 million. In addition to these plans, two other provincial projects, Kangir Dam and a water supply plan in the city of Ivan, have gone on stream.

  Pros, Cons of Dam Construction

Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian also said that some people believe the construction of dams must be halted because it damages the country, while other people believe dams must be built wherever possible. “We disagree with both approaches as they go to extremes,” he added. Chitchian noted that the ministry builds dams where it is needed to store water and control floods.

“The extreme approaches do not suit Iran’s arid and semi-arid climate. However, we have no way but to build dams to supply water to cities, industries and agriculture as well as curb damage caused by floodwaters,” Chitchian said.

The minister referred to supplying electricity during peak hours and adjusting the national electricity frequency as two fundamental roles of hydroelectric power plants, adding that if dams were not built near the capital Tehran, the government would have experienced a crisis for supplying drinking water to Tehran’s subscribers. Chitchian pointed to a floodwater, which was held back by Gotvand Dam in Khuzestan Province in March 2015, and said the flood could destroy a large part of the provincial capital Ahvaz if there was no dam to control it.

“Thus, dam building is necessary as it gives rise to more economic activities.”

On the construction of a pumped-storage hydroelectricity plant at the site of Seimareh Dam, he said the ministry is ready to hold a tender by which a private contractor would undertake the project.

Chitchian stressed that he does not reject weaknesses in the dam construction process in the former administration and said the incumbent government has reconsidered the process to pay more attention to environmental challenges.