By Rahim Zamanov
Iran plans to increase its electricity exports to neighboring Iraq by 500 megawatt hours, Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said, the IRNA News Agency reported on Dec. 11.
“We have had good negotiations with Iraqi officials,” Chitchian said.
“Boosting electricity exports and a more active presence of Iranian companies in Iraq’s water and electricity projects were among the main agreements,” he explained.
The minister went on to note that Iran’s energy sector currently exports to 20 countries, adding that the exports include technical and engineering services, as well as equipment.
Deputy Energy Minister Esmail Mahsouli said an Iranian consultant electrical engineering firm is currently studying the synchronizing of Iran and Iraq’s electricity networks, Tasnim News Agency reported previously.
Mahsouli said that Iranian companies enjoy good ties with the Iraqi electrical sector, adding that Iranian firms have constructed a number of thermal power plants in Baghdad and that another power plant is under construction by an Iranian company.
Iran has energy exchange projects with all countries with which it shares a land border, namely Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Chitchian told Tasnim News Agency previously.
He added that the Iranian electricity industry is recognized today as the region’s energy hub and that foreign demand for Iran’s electricity outstrips its export capacity.
“The power grids of Iran and Russia can be connected either through Azerbaijan or Turkmenistan, which raises issues such as power transit and even increased energy imports by these two countries from Iran, and such issues will be addressed in future negotiations,” the minister said.
The country’s electricity industry earned $800 million in energy exports last year.
Managing Director of Iran Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Management Company (TAVANIR) Homayoun Hayeri said in September that Iran also seeks to exchange electricity with countries on the southern shores of the Gulf through submarine cables and that it enjoys the required international standards for connecting the country’s national electricity network to the European network.
“Iran electricity industry ranks 14th in the world and first in the Middle East in terms of electricity generation by having an installed power generation capacity of 67,806 MW,” Hayeri said earlier.
Earlier in May, former Iranian Deputy Energy Minister Mohammad Behzad announced that the country’s electricity exports had increased 40% since the beginning of the current Iranian year (started March 21), and said Tehran has signed several contracts with the neighboring states for export of electricity.
In July, the Iranian Energy Ministry announced that electricity exports to neighboring states exceeded 1,000 megawatts.