EghtesadOnline: The Thermal Power Plants Holding Company has signed a contract with unnamed investors to build power plants with a total electricity generating capacity of 5,000 megawatts, or 5 gigawatts, the company's deputy for planning said.
"The power stations are slated to run on advanced F-Class turbines with the efficiency rate of 58% or higher," Hamidreza Azimi was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency on Monday.
Pointing to a power plant's current efficiency of 37.8%, Azimi said, "Plans are underway to boost the efficiency to 40% by the end of the Sixth Five-Year Development Plan (2017-22)."
"TPPHC has signed agreements with unnamed investors to develop 5,000 MW of new power capacity. The gas-fired Bandar Abbas Power Plant in Hormozgan Province will go on stream by March."
According to the official, 3,000 MW of new electricity output capacity should be added to the grid by July to address the hot summers' peak demand, of which 1,100 MW have already become operational and the rest will be launched gradually, Financial Tribune reported.
"The program is progressing and the Mazandaran Power Plant in northern Iran is scheduled to be synchronized with the national grid by May," the official said, noting that the 900-MW Dalahou combined-cycle power plant in the western Kermanshah Province will join the grid by June.
A combined-cycle power plant uses both gas and steam turbines to produce up to 50% more electricity from the same fuel than a traditional simple-cycle plant. The waste heat from the gas turbine is routed to the nearby steam turbine, which generates extra power.
Azimi added that steam units in Kashan in Isfahan, Parand in Tehran, Jahrom in Shiraz and Shirvan in North Khorasan Provinces will go on stream by July as part of efforts to minimize outages.
According to the official, TPPHC has not only converted 21 gas-powered plants into combined-cycle ones but also installed 7,500 MW of new power capacity since 2014.
"The efficiency of the said 21 power stations has reached by 50%," he said, noting that the plan has helped the country save as much as 11 billion cubic meters of natural gas per annum.
Asked about Andimeshk Power Plant that is being renovated with the help of F-class turbines, Azimi said several gas-fired power plants in Bandar Abbas, Andimeshk, Omidiyeh, Hamedan, Buin Zahra, Salafchegan and Khorramabad are being replaced with combined-cycle plants as part of the drive to help reduce the energy sector's role in air pollution.
The official also said operations to build Dezful Combined Cycle Power Plant started in October.
The 910-megawatt plant will consist of two 305-MW gas units that will run on F-class turbines and a steam unit with 300-MW output capacity.
According to Mohsen Tarztalab, the head of TPPHC, Iran has decided to phase out inefficient power plants, improve the aging electricity infrastructure and move toward modern power production technology.
"Under regulations outlined by the Energy Ministry, all new power plant units must have an efficiency of 58% and above," he said.
With an installed power production capacity of around 77,000 megawatts, Iran meets almost 80% of its electricity demand from aging thermal plants operating for decades.
It is reported that steps have been taken to gradually convert the conventional plants into efficient combined-cycle units.
Close to 12,000 MW are produced from hydroelectric plants and 1,000 MW from the sole nuclear power plant in Bushehr in the south.