Power Plant Projects Booming in N. Iran

Power Plant Projects Booming in N. IranPower Plant Projects Booming in N. Iran

The private and public sectors have cooperated to build three 500-megawatt power plants and seven small-scale ones in Mazandaran Province in northern Iran since President Hassan Rouhani took office in mid-2013.

“The administration has issued permits for the construction of two power plants in the cities of Amol and Mahmoudabad in the province, each of which would operate with 500 MW power generation capacity,” Hossein Afzali, managing director of Mazandaran and Golestan Regional Electric Company, was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Noting that the investor for the Amol power plant was selected in November 2015, Afzali said the plan is currently obtaining the construction permit from the Department of Environment.

He added that the DOE has refused to issue a permit for the state-owned 500-MW power plant in Mahmoudabad, which has scuttled the plan for now.

"Another power plant, with the same production capacity, began construction eight years ago in the city of Noshahr, but its investor failed to fulfill commitments," he said.

“As a result, the plant did not receive a $270 million loan the government had initially promised. But with the investor recently providing the finance of the project, the loan will soon be paid to the investor.”

Noshahr's power plant has so far made 22% progress and its turbine is currently being transferred from Italy to the country.

  Small Power Plants

According to Afzali, in the past three years, the private sector has funded seven power plants, with a 10-25 MW production capacity, in Mazandaran.

“Of the projects, three 25-MW power plants and one 10-MW plant have come on stream in the cities of Behshahr, Savadkouh, Tonekabon and Babolsar, respectively,” he said.

"Three other power plants with a production capacity of 10 MW are currently being built in Chamestan, Tonekabon and Mahmoudabad."

He stressed that a 25-MW power plant project in Maraveh Tappeh in Golestan Province has gained the construction license in the current Iranian year (started March 20, 2016).

“The construction of a small 10-MW power plant in Iran will cost over $7 million and about $14 million are needed to build a 25-MW plant,” he said.

Underscoring that the Energy Ministry purchases the output of these privately-owned small-scale power plants and sells it to subscribers, the official added that a part of the needed finance for the projects is provided by the National Development Fund of Iran as loans to investors.  

Afzali underlined the government’s intention to reduce instability in the power lines of the province, saying $24.4 million were invested in the construction of a 400-kilovolt power station near the provincial capital Sari, which became operational a month ago.

Mazandaran has about 1.7 million electricity subscribers who consume 700 MW of power daily in autumn and winter, but the consumption jumps to 2,250 MW per day during spring and summer as visitors travel to the province’s tourist centers as well as due to the normal rise of using cooling systems in the hot season.