Armenia to Quadruple Power Exchange

Armenia to Quadruple Power Exchange  Armenia to Quadruple Power Exchange

Iran and Armenia explored grounds to boost collaboration in energy projects in a meeting between Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian and his Armenian counterpart Ashot Manukyan in Tehran. Speaking on the sidelines of the 14th session of Iran-Armenia Joint Commission on Monday, Chitchian said Armenia can help Iran extend its presence in Eurasian energy markets, IRNA reported.

"Iran's electricity exchange with Armenia will increase four times the current level upon the completion and implementation of the third power connection line," Chitchian said.

Iran is connected to Armenia through two electricity lines and a third is under construction. The two countries have different seasons of peak electricity demand. Iran exports electricity to Armenia in winter and imports it when domestic demand soars in summer, according to Chitchian.

The Tehran meeting aimed at finding ways to expand cooperation in electricity, water as well as technical and engineering sectors.

According to Chitchian, grounds have been paved for the promotion of  cooperation in water, power and communications sectors. 

"Iran's private sector is willing and able play its role in international markets with the help of its neighbor," said the minister. According to Chitchian, the current electricity exchange rate with the Caucasian state is 300 megawatts per hour which will rise to around 1,200 MW as soon as a third transmission line connecting the two national grids goes on stream.

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 75,000 MW.

It is the largest exporter and importer of electricity in the Middle East and supplies electricity to Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq and Afghanistan. Azerbaijan and Armenia supply electricity to Iran under a swap agreement.

According to the minister, Iran wants to attract $50 billion in investment in its electricity sector, including $35 billion for power production and $15 billion for transmission projects.

  Pakistan Calls for Increasing Imports

In related news, Pakistan's Ambassador to Tehran Asif Durrani called for increasing electricity import from Iran to meet the power demand in the port city of Gwadar in south of the country.

He made the statement in a meeting with Bahman Salehi, the chief executive of Iran Power and Water Equipment and Services Export Company, known as SUNIR. According to Durrani, if Iranian firms are interested in direct investment, they can be designated to implement power projects in his country without participating in international tenders.

Highlighting Iranian power companies' role in funding electricity plans in Pakistan, he added, "SUNIR has already completed a 500-kilovolt power project in Pakistan. It is welcome to finance and develop similar plans."

Salehi also said that SUNIR has already obtained the permits from Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir) to sell 400 MW of electricity to Pakistan. Work will commence as soon as banking hurdles between the two sides are removed.

“To increase its activities and presence in international markets, SUNIR cooperates with large companies from European countries like Germany,” he added.

SUNIR is currently involved in 17 projects in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Oman, Iraq, Syria, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and Armenia, according to its chief executive.

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