May 12, 2011 | Iran Daily

Iran, Turkey to Build Power Plants

Tehran and Ankara plan to build several power plants with a total daily power generation capacity of 20,000 megawatts, deputy energy minister said.

Mohammad Behzad was elaborating on the outcome of a recent visit to Turkey by an Iranian delegation headed by Energy Minister Majid Namjou.

“In the talks, it was decided that the two countries build thermal power plants and also power plants using renewable energies with capacities of 6,000 to 10,000 megawatts, Fars News Agency reported.

“The two sides also decided to build hydro-electric power plants with capacities of 10,000 megawatts,” the official added.

He added that during the meetings, both countries decided to set up a new 400-kilovolt transfer line to expand power supplies in each country.

They further decided to form a group to study whether the power transmission capacities in the two countries can be increased to 1,200 megawatts, Behzad added.

In recent years, Iran and Turkey have increased cooperation in various fields of economy, security, trade, education, energy and culture.

They have also exchanged several politico-economic delegations in the last few months.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul in a meeting with Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in February underlined the need to remove obstacles to further expansion of bilateral economic ties with Iran.

“The level of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries does not match the age-old ties between the two nations and we should remove the obstacles to the development of cooperation between Iran and Turkey,” Gul said at the time.

Private Sector

More than 6,000 megawatts of electricity are generated by power plants established by the private sector, observed an official at Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Company (Tavanir).

Talking to reporters, Tavanir’s director general for supervising private sector power plants, Kourosh Malek-Zandi said the state-run power plants which supply electricity to the national power network directly are being privatized.

He noted that the electricity generated by private power plants is primarily sold to Tavanir which meets domestic power demand. The task of maintenance is undertaken by companies building them, he said, IRNA reported.

The official added that seven private power plants are operational across the country, noting that in 2005, the government launched Zargan Power Plant which has since been transferred to the private sector.

Zargan Power Plant has two 140 MW steam units and four 32 MW gas-operated turbines, he said adding this is while the others only run on gas.

He noted that the average price of electricity determines the value of private power plants which has been devised to encourage the private sector to increase the efficiency of power plants.

Meanwhile, deputy head of Tavanir’s office for technical logistics, Gholamreza Mehrdad told reporters that average efficiency of Iran’s power plants stood at 37.58 percent while the figure for the US is below 37 percent.

He noted that to meet domestic needs, electricity production capacity should be increased by 5000 MW annually, adding that by encouraging energy saving, Subsidy Reform Plan has alleviated concerns about the low efficiency of power plants which operate on age-old equipment and technologies.

He stated that converting gas power plants to combined cycle is the most important step for improving efficiency from 32 percent to 53 percent and minimizing the use of old units.

Mehrdad said that repair operations were completed in mid-April and this will increase power grid safety.
“Special attentions have been paid to reducing fuel consumption in power plants and efforts have been made to accelerate repair works of high efficiency power plants in the winter,” he said.

He said that reducing the time spent on maintenance saved about 500 billion rials (approximately $50 million), adding thanks to the extensive efforts by domestic experts, repair cost for producing each kw/h of electricity is very insignificant.

Speaking at the same press conference, director general of Tavanir’s technical logistic office, Hassan Mansouri said that the company is fully prepared to meet the demand for electricity during the coming summer.

He noted that given the 0.5 percent increase in the efficiency of power plant, about 400 billion rials ($40 million) worth of energy was saved in the past Iranian year which ended on March 20.

Mansouri stated that maintenance works have been conducted in 700 power plan units in the current Iranian year, adding before the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, local experts and specialists were not allowed to make progress while a large number of Iranian companies are currently providing technical and engineering services for power plants.

He noted that so far more than 100 turbine repair specialists have been trained, adding adequate equipment has also been provided in the shortest period of time.

Condition Monitoring System, he added, has been installed in the sector in the year to March 2011 based on which all working equipment of power plants are controlled and supervised.

Power plants’ efficiency is expected to increase by one percent in the current year, Mansouri concluded, adding this would help the country save 10,000 billion rials ($1000 million) in energy costs.

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