Armenia Eying Higher Iranian Gas Import

Armenia Eying Higher Iranian Gas ImportArmenia Eying Higher Iranian Gas Import

Increasing imports of natural gas is on Armenia's priority list as the country plans to increase electricity export to oil and gas-rich Iran.

The managing director of Yerevan thermal power plant, Sassan Khachaturian, made the statement after holding talks with an Iranian delegation in Yerevan, IRNA reported on Tuesday.

The Iranian mission was headed by Ali Amirani, the head of National Iranian Gas Exports Company, who visited Yerevan on Monday to explore grounds for closer cooperation.

According to reports, Iran's gas supply to Armenia is seasonal and Turkey is the only country that purchases Iranian gas throughout the year under a long-term contract.

"Armenia is ready to export more electricity to Iran during the hot summer days," Khachaturian said, calling for more gas import from Iran to meet his country's demand in winter.

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 energy officials.

Pointing to the long-term bilateral economic ties between the two countries, Khachaturian attached importance to exchanging electricity for natural gas with Iran.

According to Amirani, promoting cooperation with the neighboring state in gas and power sectors is high on the agenda.

Amirani expressed hope that Iran's electricity exchange with Armenia would increase four times to around 1,200 megawatts once the construction of the third power transmission line is complete.

"The power line, to be completed by the end of next year at an estimated cost of $107 million, is part of an agreement between Iran, Russia, Armenia and Georgia to synchronize their power grids by 2019, paving the way for electricity exchange between Tehran and Moscow as part of their expansive cooperation plans," he added.

Iran is the largest electricity producer in the Middle East with an installed power generating capacity of around 76,000 MW. The country's electricity industry ranks 14th in the world in terms of output.

It also produces around 880 million cubic meters of natural gas daily, most of which is consumed domestically.

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