Expanding Combined Cycle Plants

Expanding Combined  Cycle Plants
Expanding Combined  Cycle Plants

Plans are underway to replace dilapidated power plants with combined cycle plants, Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said, Mehr news agency reported Saturday.

“Building new power plants, increasing electricity production and improving the efficiency of the plants are on the ministry’s agenda,” he said, adding that installed power generation capacity has reached 72,000 megawatts (MW).

When President Hassan Rouhani took office in August 2013, overall capacity of power plant projects under construction was close to 3,500 MW, but deals have been signed over the past year to increase the volume to almost 10,000 MW. Additionally, domestic investors, contractors and producers have been encouraged to build new power plants.

According to long-term development plans, Iran’s power capacity could reach 33,000 MW within the next five years, eventually surpassing 100,000 MW.

The ministry intends to convert all thermal power plants to combined cycle plants under a five-year project. Chitchian had earlier stated that the plant conversion program alongside the utilization of several steam turbines with 8,000 MW capacity would help save fuel consumption by $3.7 billion.

Efficiency of power plants across the country is estimated to be already around 37 percent, but the ministry has plans to enhance the efficiency by attracting private companies and introducing new projects.

Chitchian underlined the conversion of gas-fired plants to combined cycle plants as a viable option and said, “Plans call for turning 3,700 MW capacity of power plants into combined cycle plants.”

Combined-cycle power plants normally use both gas and steam turbines to produce up to 50 percent more electricity from the same fuel than traditional power plants.