Baluchestan Bakes as Chitchian Arrives

Baluchestan Bakes as Chitchian ArrivesBaluchestan Bakes as Chitchian Arrives

Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian was in Sistan-Baluchestan Province on Sunday for a closer look at the serious challenges in the southeastern region, notably a string of power outages as well as poor water supply exacerbated by the withering heat in the last few weeks.

According to IRNA, Arash Kordi, managing director of Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir), and Hamidreza Janbaz, head of the National Water and Wastewater Engineering Company, accompanied the minister in his visit to the impoverished border region.

The provincial capital Zahedan and some other cities including Jakigur, Chabahar, Rasak and Nikshahr have intermittently gone off the power grid in the past few weeks and have been affected by inadequate water supply as temperatures soared to 51 degrees Celsius in parts of the region, the highest since climate records started in the southeastern province.

Following the jump in electricity demand for cooling systems during the unusually hot summer, provincial officials appealed to the Energy Ministry to reduce  electricity tariffs.

Chitchian said his ministry has drawn up a proposal to lower electricity bills in the hot regions that will be discussed in the next Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Close to 500 towns and villages were connected to the national power grid in the last four years in Sistan-Baluchestan, he said, adding that a 700 megawatt thermal power station is being built in the province.

“Plans are in place to build another 800 MW production facility with the help of foreign direct investment,” he said without elaboration. Officials say three regions in the deprived province have been identified for development of renewable energy projects.

With more than 300 sunny days throughout the year, well above the likes of the UK with 150 days of sunlight per year on average and with far less intensity in radiation, Iran has huge potential to expand solar energy infrastructure.


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