Hormozgan Infrastructure Attracts S. Korea Interest

Hormozgan Infrastructure Attracts S. Korea InterestHormozgan Infrastructure Attracts S. Korea Interest

Companies and investors from South Korean are interested in energy projects in Hormozgan Province in the Persian Gulf region, the provincial governor said in a statement.

"South Koreans are willing to invest in oil terminals, solar and combined-cycle power plants, ports and the mining sector in Hormozgan," Jasem Jaderi was quoted as saying by Shana on Sunday.

As a first step, the Koreans are expected to invest $96 million in the province and mining projects are said to be among the first to be financed.

"We too have voiced interest in economic cooperation," the official said. "A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the private sector in Hormozgan and South Korean investors to set up a joint venture in two months to facilitate the financing."

The agreement is part of efforts to rekindle industrial and trade ties with the world and attract foreign investment to improve growth rates after years of underinvestment due to the international economic sanctions imposed on Iran due to the dispute over its nuclear energy program.

During her visit to Tehran in May South Korean President Park Geun-hye said her government would provide Iran $25 billion in finance for infrastructure projects.

It was the first visit of a South Korean leader to Iran after the two nations established diplomatic ties over five decades ago.

Hormozgan has attracted considerable interest in investments after Iran opened its sanctions-hit economy to the outside world in January when the punitive economic and oil restrictions were lifted.

The province's capital and port city Bandar Abbas occupies a strategic position in the Strait of Hormuz — a key waterway from which almost half the world's crude oil supply passes.

Development of loading facilities for crude oil and petroleum products in Bandar Abbas can spare international vessels lengthy and often costly voyages to Iran's terminals in the Persian Gulf, including its largest oil terminal in Kharg Island. The region also has the potential to turn into a hotspot for electricity production from solar energy.

The temperature in Hormozgan's littoral regions exceeds 50 degrees Celsius in summer, allowing the southern province to exploit the clean energy resource.