EghtesadOnline: The gas-powered unit of Caspian Combined-Cycle Power Plant in northern Mazandaran Province was synchronized with the national grid Wednesday in a ceremony attended by Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian.
"The unit, which added 310 MW of electricity to the grid, runs on advanced F-Class turbines with a high efficiency rate of 59%," Ardakanian was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
"Efforts are underway to implement the plant's steam unit by the next fiscal year [ending March 2019]," he added.
The 460-megawatt Caspian project consists of a 310-MW gas unit and a steam unit with an output capacity of 150 MW, according to Financial Tribune.
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. Waste heat from the gas turbine is routed to the nearby steam turbine to generate electricity.
Ardakanian noted that with an above average efficiency, the plant will help meet ecological standards. The plant is located on an 8-hectare land, which is smaller than similar plants producing 460 MW of power.
Modern technology used in the plant will also help reduce gas consumption by up to 100 million cubic meters per year.
Besides, the plant will also use 30% less water in comparison with similar plants.
The Caspian plant's construction started in 2016 at an estimated cost of €280 million. Some €215 million have been supplied by the state-owned National Development Fund of Iran and the rest is provided by Mah Taab Group, the project operator.
The same day, Ardakanian inaugurated a 230.63-kilovolt substation and a 230-kilovolt transmission line, worth $8.55 million.
According to the energy minister, such projects are aimed at averting blackouts in the next summer.
The country has been grappling with excruciating power shortage this summer, which disrupted its power trade and supply programs.
The northern Mazandaran Province has over 1.7 million subscribers, of which 580,000 are located in the western part where the plant is located.
"The new projects will push Iran's installed power generation capacity above 80,000 MW," he said.
Total electricity production capacity stands at 80,000 MW, of which over 64,000 MW are generated in thermal power plants. In addition, 12,000 MW are supplied by hydroelectric plants and 1,000 MW from the sole nuclear power plant in Bushehr.
Government data showed that combined-cycle power plants accounted for 35.9% of total production in the fiscal 2016-17, generating 103.9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity.
Plans are in place to launch 5,000 MW of new power capacity each year through 2022, the end of Iran's Sixth Five-Year Economic Development Plan.
Ardakanian said 68 projects in the field of energy worth $950 million are underway in the northern province, with a general work-in-progress rate of 60%.
The official noted that all the plans are projected for completion by 2022.