EghtesadOnline: Europe is ready to expand economic and energy cooperation with Iran and provide the country with much-needed expertise to rein in harmful emissions, the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete said.
"The EU is interested in expanding oil, gas and nuclear energy collaboration with Iran," Arias Canete told the first Iran-EU Business Forum on Sustainable Energy in Tehran on Saturday, Mehr News Agency reported.
Pointing to EU's target of meeting 30% of its total energy demand via renewables by 2030, the official said, "Access to modern technology in the fight with pollution will help Iran boost foreign investment."
Arias Canete also spoke about the improvement in Iran-EU ties after the easing of international economic restrictions against Tehran last year, Financial Tribune reported.
"After the nuclear deal came into effect, trade between the EU and Iran has risen by 79%, exports from Iran to the EU have jumped by 450% and the two sides have established a dynamic energy partnership.
"Now we want to take this success story one step further. The energy sector will feature prominently in our future relations and we are committed to fully tap into its economic and social potential while contributing to achieve our climate commitments," Arias Canete said.
The forum has brought together more than 50 European companies and business associations and 40 Iranian energy companies to foster business relations and partnerships between Iran and the 28-nation bloc and lay the ground for further cooperation and joint partnerships in the energy sector.
Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian told the forum on Saturday that his ministry is taking steps to help raise energy efficiency and production capacity by upgrading aging power plants with F-class gas turbines with considerably higher electricity output, using smart electricity meters and increasing the volume of gas supply instead of mazut and diesel as feedstock for power plants.
"We have plans to build power stations to run on highly-efficient F-Class and H-Class turbines which will increase production efficiency from 38% to 58%," he said.
Iran has signed a deal with the Germany's Siemens company, based on which the industrial giant is to deliver 20 F-Class turbines and also share turbine manufacturing knowhow.
The ministry is preparing a tender to develop the steam units of dozens of power plants and convert conventional plants into combined-cycle units that produce up to 50% more electricity from the same fuel than a traditional simple-cycle plant.
Chitchian noted that the use of liquid fuels such as mazut and diesel as feedstock in thermal power plants has declined significantly during the last four years, dropping to less than 15% from 43%. The measure has reduced annual emission of greenhouse gases by 15 million tons.
Pointing to other priorities, Chitchian noted, "Completing the smart metering system program, aka FAHAM, at the national level, is high on the agenda."
"FAHAM was launched in 2015 and will cover close to 32 million subscribers nationwide," he said, adding that the advanced metering system will make manual meter reading a thing of the past. Smart meters have been use in Europe and the US since the early 2000s.
Around 62,000 MW, or 80% of Iran's 76,000-MW output, is generated from thermal plants that burn fossil fuels. In addition, 12,000 MW comes from hydroelectric plants and 1,000 MW from the sole nuclear power plant in Bushehr.