EghtesadOnline: Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian said 40 large projects related to urban and rural water and wastewater expansion will go on stream in February.
The total urban population has access to potable water as well as 75% rural folks -- the latter is planned to reach 81% by 2021, IRNA reported.
“In the past five years, over 5.5 million people on the outskirts of urban and rural areas have been supplied potable water,” the minister told reporters at the Energy Ministry in Tehran on the weekend.
According to Financial Tribune, he referred to expansion of the wastewater collection networks and said, “Almost half the population is connected to the sewerage system”.
While the population has increased from 34 million four decades ago to 82 million now – the amount of energy produced in the country has jumped more than 11 times.
“Construction of 27 combined cycle power plants is underway in the provinces that will add 5,000 megawatts to the existing 82,000 MW by next summer,” the minister was quoted as saying.
Moreover, output of installed renewable power plants has reached 670 MW. With 50 large and 2,000 small-scale plants under construction in various regions, the capacity of renewable energy will increase to 2,000 MW within three years, he said.
Ardakanian pointed to the electricity exchange network expansion with neighboring countries. “We intend to increase power export with the help of our private sector”.
According to data released by Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, the country exported over 42,926 million kilowatt-hours of electricity to neighbors during 2013-18 generating $4.1 billion.
Iran trades electricity with four neighbors near the northwestern and western borders, namely Azerbaijan Republic (including Nakhchivan Autonomous Region), Turkey, Armenia and Iraq.
Under swap deals, Iran exports electricity to Armenia and Azerbaijan in winter and imports in summer if need be.
The move is in line with policies to boost power grid sustainability via joint ventures and synchronize the electricity network with regional countries.
Average annual export is said to be 10,000 MW hours to Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Regarding the manufacture of the machinery and equipment for the expanding power industry, the minister said the majority of the equipment is produced by domestic companies.
“In the water sector, refineries, water treatment plants as well as distribution networks and pipelines are designed and built largely by Iranian engineers.”
Iran is the largest exporter and importer of electricity in the Middle East and plays a central role in power distribution in the region. The country's electricity industry is 14th in the world in terms of output.
The country's power industry is present in 40 plus international markets as exporter of goods and services.
Iranian contractors are active in Iraq and Syria as the two biggest potential markets. They also have 58 projects in other countries, including Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Oman and India.
Iran is among six countries that have the technical expertise to construct dams and hydropower plants.