Tehran, Yerevan Expanding Energy Cooperation

Tehran, Yerevan Expanding Energy Cooperation

Iran may not have the most advanced technology in the power industry, but it boasts state-of-the-art knowhow of constructing gas-fueled power plants, Iran’s energy minister said this week.
“The technology may have been adopted from the Europeans, but Iranian experts have upgraded it,” Hamid Chitchian added after meeting Armenia’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Levon Yolyan in Yerevan, IRNA reported. Chitchian noted that the import of F-class turbines from Germany is on the ministry's top agenda.
German engineering giant Siemens is due to deliver F-class turbines to Iran in the near future. Officials say the turbines can boost the efficiency of Iran's largely dilapidated power plants by over 50%.
“Despite the presence of prominent international firms, Iranian companies have carried out plenty of power projects overseas in recent years,” he said.
Chitchian stressed that Iran has built power plants in Kenya, Iraq, Syria and Tajikistan, "but the ability is not limited to thermal power plants".
The official called for the expansion of energy cooperation and stressed that the Armenian government has played a positive role in bolstering regional convergence through cooperation in setting up hydroelectric power plants and oil barter deals.
Referring to energy sector as a leading field of collaboration in the region, Chitchian expressed optimism that the two sides in the region would also cooperate in other sectors.
Iran Power & Water Equipment Services Export Company—aka SUNIR—is ready to provide all the equipment needed for the third power transmission line linking the two countries in winter and will accelerate executive operations in spring.
“The project will raise Iran-Armenia power exchange capacity to 1,200 megawatts,” he added.
Chitchian said Iranian companies, now that sanctions against Iran are lifted, can increase their presence in Armenia.
Yolyan also underlined the need to reinforce relations and said the ground should be prepared for Iranian companies to play a bigger role in Armenia.
“The cold season gave rise to some problems for setting up the third transmission line, which is very significant, but now operations should be actively pursued to expedite the projects,” he added.
Yolyan also cast doubt on the efficiency of rival Chinese contractors in Armenia's power projects, namely their high operation costs, and hoped that SUNIR will help complete the remaining projects until September 2017.
The cold season has stymied the development of the third Iran-Armenia power transmission line.


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