Electricity-for-Gas Deal Discussed With Armenia

Electricity-for-Gas Deal  Discussed With ArmeniaElectricity-for-Gas Deal  Discussed With Armenia

Establishment of a third electricity transmission line was discussed between the Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian and his Armenian counterpart Yerevan Zakharian at a two-day joint-commission in Tehran, IRNA reported Monday.

"Iran will import electricity from Armenia at the time of peak demand in exchange for gas," Chitchian said, adding that increase in the level of imports depends on the volume of gas exports to the northwestern neighbor.

The 12th round of the Iran-Armenia joint commission was held after a two-year gap. The two countries explored areas of cooperation in oil, gas, water and electricity sectors, among other things.

Development of the Meghri Dam on the Aras River was also on the agenda. Meghri Dam, also known as the Aras Dam, is a hydroelectric dam under construction near Armenia's southern town of Meghri on the Iran-Armenia border. Construction started in 2012 and is expected to be completed by 2016.

Revisions have been made in the production capacity of the Meghri Dam due to changes in water flow of the Aras River, Chitchian said. "According to studies, power generation capacity for each country would be near 100 megawatts."

Zakharian said construction of the Meghri Dam is expected to be completed in two years. He highlighted the cordial relationship between the two countries and called for closer cooperation.

Trade between Iran and Armenia reached nearly $300 in 2013. Zakharian hoped it would be double or triple when the third electricity transmission line goes on stream.

Iran is the largest exporter and importer of electricity in the Middle East and exports electric power to Armenia, Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The country's electricity industry ranks 14th in the world and first in the Middle East in terms of generation with an installed power generation capacity of 72,000 MW.