Iran Launches 100 MW Thermal Power Plant

Iran Launches 100 MW Thermal Power PlantIran Launches 100 MW Thermal Power Plant

Iran launched a 100 megawatt thermal power plant on Sunday in northwestern Kermanshah Province in a ceremony attended by President Hassan Rouhani.

The Eslamabad-e-Gharb Power Plant comprises four 25 MW production units, which can be converted into combined-cycle units to produce 50% more electric power from the same fuel that a traditional plant consumes, IRNA reported.

Mehran Golabkesh, head of the Thermal Power Plants Holding Company, the operator of the plant, said on Sunday the plant cost $50 million.

Electricity production efficiency of Eslamabad-e-Gharb plant stands at 33%. Nonetheless, negotiations are underway with some European companies to upgrade the complex to a fully combined-cycle plant.

The move will enhance the power plant's efficiency as much as 50%, which will help improve the stability of power transmission and supply in the region. Golabkesh added that Japan's Hitachi and the Dutch firm Brush also played a role in completing the power project by providing the much-needed turbines and generators worth $20 million.

Asked about the contribution of domestic enterprises to the plant, he noted that Iran Transfo Co. and Sane Shargh Co. provided the plant with boilers, transistors and electrical enclosures including switches, knobs and displays that prevent electrical shock to equipment users.

Around 62,000 MW, or more than 80% of Iran's 75,000-MW output, are generated from thermal plants that burn fossil fuels. In addition, 12,000 MW comes from hydroelectric plants and only 1,000 MW from nuclear power.  

Iran is keen to attract $50 billion in investment in its electricity sector, including $35 billion in power production and $15 billion in transmission projects, according to Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian.

The structure of Iran's electricity industry and official reports suggest that future investments will be largely directed toward thermal power.

Plans call for raising power production capacity by 50,000 MW in 10 years, boosting the country's total installed power capacity to more than 120,000 MW.

Houshang Falahatian, deputy energy minister believes that the power sector requires $5 billion in annual investment, which should come foreign sources or the National Development Fund of Iran. Iran is the largest electricity producer in the Middle East and 14th in the world in terms of installed power capacity. It currently has power exchange deals with seven neighboring states.

Iran, Russia, Armenia and Georgia signed a memorandum of understanding last year to connect their power grids by 2019.