Iran-Built Power plant in Najaf Operational

Iran-Built Power plant  in Najaf Operational
Iran-Built Power plant  in Najaf Operational

A 162 megawatt (MW) power plant developed by Iranian experts was inaugurated in Iraq, near the southern city of Najaf, Tasnim news agency reported.

The Iranian and Iraqi energy ministers on Thursday attended the ceremony in which the Heidarieh power station went into operation, in Heidarieh area some 25 km north of Najaf.

The electricity required for residential and commercial areas as well as the holy shrines in Najaf and Karbala will be supplied by the new power plant, which has been entirely designed and constructed by the Iranian MAPNA Group, over a three-year period.

Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said during the opening ceremony that "Iran is prepared to promote relations with Iraq, especially in the electricity sector."

Diesel generators in many residential areas were phased out as the power plant went on stream.

According to an agreement between the two ministers, MAPNA is set to remodel the simple-cycle power plant into a combined cycle one, so that it can provide electricity for all of Najaf and Karbala.

Iran is the largest exporter and importer of electricity in the Middle East and exports 1,300 MW of electricity to Iraq per day. Annual electricity exports to Iraq are valued at $1 billion.

The country is currently exporting electricity to other countries, including Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Pakistan.

Iran’s electricity industry ranks 14th in the world and first in the Middle East in terms of power generation with an installed capacity of 67,806 MW.

1000MW Increase

Electricity production is due to increase by more than 1,000 MW by the end of the present Iranian calendar year (March 2015), managing director of the Iran Power Development Co. (IPDC) said.

"Three electricity projects are on the agenda, including the establishment of Shazand plant in Arak as well as the development of Ramin and Tabas plants, each with an estimated 325MW capacity," Mehr news agency quoted Majid Salehi as saying.

Two power plants in Mahshahr and Bandar Abbas port cities are expected to come on stream in the near future. Additionally, several smaller gas-fueled power plants are scheduled for completion by March 2015.

Permissions have been issued for construction of more than 30 power plants by private investors under BOO (build–own–operate) contracts, Salehi said, adding that the economic council of the government has facilitated the purchase of electricity from privately-owned power plants.

In BOO contracts, a private organization builds, operates and owns a part or full project.