EghtesadOnline: MAPNA Group, an energy and engineering conglomerate, has opened talks with leading international companies to provide finance for its wide-ranging projects, its chief executive officer said.
"We have held negotiations with GE, Baker Hughes and SOCAR … We will certainly have foreign partners because we need funds," Abbas Aliabadi was also quoted as saying by ILNA on Tuesday.
He did not elaborate on the nature of cooperation with New York-based General Electric and Baker Hughes, one of the world's largest oilfield services companies, as the US law prohibits American companies from most forms of investment or trade with Tehran.
In the past few years, Tehran's negotiations with SOCAR, as the state oil and gas company of Azerbaijan is known, revolved around swapping fossil fuels and developing Caspian Sea oil and gas reserves, according to Financial Tribune.
MAPNA is a conglomerate of local companies involved in the development and execution of thermal and renewable power, oil and gas, railroad transportation and other industrial projects as well as manufacturing equipment.
Operating billions of dollars worth of projects in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Oman and Indonesia, among other markets, MAPNA is facing a cash crunch to push ahead with its ventures.
As with most of Iran's economy, MAPNA bore the brunt of economic curbs that curtailed foreign finance and forced multinationals to cut off ties.
Aliabadi said the conglomerate of 41 companies has yet to reach a financing agreement with foreign companies, although sanctions were lifted nearly two years ago.
"MAPNA relies on its own financial sources to implement its projects," he said.
The consortium is playing a key role in upgrading Iran's power industry that grappled with a lack of investment and technology when economic restrictions were in place.
The company last year signed a contract with Siemens for purchasing more than 20 gas turbines and associated generators over the next decade as well as transfer of turbine manufacturing knowhow. Siemens shipped its first highly-efficient F-class gas turbine to MAPNA in September.
MAPNA could also play a key role in rebuilding Syria's electrical infrastructure following a preliminary deal signed in October to repair the power grid of the war-ravaged country.
Although it is largely focused on power projects, MAPNA is gradually expanding its operations in the oil sector.
Aliabadi is optimistic about his company's chances of taking over three oilfields in the southern oil-rich Khuzestan Province, despite facing competition from local firms as well as the likes of Schlumberger and Zarubezhneft.
"We are pursuing negotiations … I believe we will be successful [in tenders] and hope that the Oil Ministry will accept us," he said.
In February, MAPNA signed a memorandum of understanding to study Karanj, Rag Sefid and Parsi oilfields with a total of eight reservoirs near Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province.