Iran, UK Talk Energy

Iran, UK Talk Energy Iran, UK Talk Energy

A high-ranking energy delegation headed by Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian arrived in London on Tuesday to explore areas for cooperation and investment in Iran's largely state-run energy sector.

Separate meetings have been planned between Chitchian and top UK energy officials as well as senior decision-makers and business leaders to explore investment opportunities in Iran's electricity, water and wastewater projects, IRNA reported.

Exchanging information on privatizing Iranian energy firms and sharing experience with Britain's influential energy sector are on the agenda.

Alister Wood, marketing manager of Siemens in England and Amber Rudd, the UK secretary of state for energy and climate change, Lord Lamont, chairman of the British-Iranian Chamber of Commerce as well as the executive directors of Lloyds Banking Group are among the officials to meet Chitchian.

Iran's energy minister will also attend a meeting in London Asia House, a leading pan-Asian organization that has built its reputation on its extensive network and its objectivity and its independence to talk about untapped investment opportunities in Iran's energy sector.

The meeting will be a platform to raise funds to get Iran's incomplete energy projects off the ground after years of sanctions that divested the country of much-needed financial resources to develop its key energy sector.

Asia House programs enhance understanding of the economic landscape, commercial opportunities and policy challenges, offering unique insights by connecting leaders from Asia and Europe through its public and private events.

  London's Encouragement  

British newspaper The Independent recently quoted Lord Lamont as saying that Iran has the fourth-biggest oil reserves in the world and the second-biggest gas reserves. "Put the two together and it is the most energy-rich country in the world," he said.

Campbell Keir, energy and UK infrastructure director at UK Trade and Investment at the Global Diplomatic Forum in London has said, "The UK government fully supports expanding our trade relations with Iran and we would encourage UK businesses to take advantage of the commercial opportunities that will arise from sanctions relief."

Mohammad Hassan Habibollahzadeh, Iran's charge d'affaires to UK believes that Iran's energy sector is one of the world's biggest hotbeds for investment, as the country aims to rebuild its infrastructures after the international restrictions were lifted in January.

"Hundreds of projects are ready to take off in Iran's oil and gas, electricity, water, environment and even nuclear energy sectors," Habibollahzadeh said, describing post-sanctions Iran as a "once-in-a-century investment opportunity".

The structure of Iran's electricity industry suggests that future investments will be largely directed toward thermal plants. According to statistics, around 61,000 MW, or more than 80% of Iran's 75,000-MW output, are generated from thermal plants that burn fossil fuels to generate electricity. In addition, 12,000 MW come from hydroelectric plants and only 1,000 MW from nuclear power.   

Iran is taking small but important steps to prop up investment in its scant renewable energy infrastructure. The government has lined up a set of incentives to reassure foreign companies of a safe and profitable investment in Iran.

The country is planning to build several power plants with highly efficient combined heat and power system in its southern shores along the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman to boost electricity exchange with its Middle East neighbors in addition to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia.