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EghtesadOnline: Chinese contractors have won a tender to supply part of the power generating equipment for Sardasht Hydroelectric Dam in West Azarbaijan Province, an official in charge of developing the dam’s electrical infrastructure said.

“Part of the equipment for electricity production at the Sardasht dam will be financed and provided by (unnamed) Chinese contractors,” Saeed Poshtan was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency on Saturday.

“The reason we approached the Chinese is their competitive advantage. Domestic producers have the capacity to supply most of the equipment, but the Chinese submitted the most attractive bid for to supply part of the dam’s power equipment and consequently won the tender,” said the official.

He did not provide details of the tender but said that in value terms, close to 60% of electrical equipment for the dam are planned to be purchased from Iranian manufacturers, Financial Tribune reported.

Sardasht dam is planned to have an installed power generation capacity of 150 megawatts, including three with 50 MW in output capacity each, and is forecast to produce 421 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually upon completion.

According to officials, the first unit is scheduled to go on stream by the end of the current fiscal year (March 2018) at an estimated cost of $400 million.

The clay core dam with a ýheight of 114 meters from the river bed has a ýreservoir capacity of 380 million cubic meters. It began taking water on Thursday in the presence of Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian.

“Domestic producers need to cut back the final price of electrical equipment. Their products meet the necessary standards, but Chinese equipment is more cost-competitive,” Poshtan added.

Hydro power constitutes almost 15%, or about 12,000 MW of Iran’s total installed power generation capacity of 76,000 MW. Oil and gas-rich Iran relies on fossil fuel power stations to meet more than 80% of its electricity demand.

Chitchian said in a statement this month that about 90 dams are in various stages of development nationwide. A major hydroelectric dam with 450-MW capacity was launched in the western Lorestan Province last month.  Nearly 85% of the funds to develop the facility was provided by Chinese financers.

Iran-China cooperation Iran Sardasht Dam Sardasht Hydropower Dam Iran's Sardasht power generating equipment