EghtesadOnline: A n estimated $3 billion has been invested in almost 1,000 water and power projects in several cities in Khuzestan Province, the Energy Minister said on Tuesday.
Reza Ardakanian was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of Veys Combined-Cycle Power Plant in southwestern Veys city, IRNA reported.
“Using high quality F-Class turbines, this power plant will produce 906 megawatts per year,” he was quoted as saying by the state news agency.
The plant consists of two gas units, each 307 MW, and a 292 MW steam unit. “F-class turbines can increase productivity in combined-cycle power plants by over 40%,” Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
MAPNA Group is the contractor of the project that is expected to come on stream in two years and cost more than half a billion dollars.
MAPNA is a conglomerate of Iranian companies involved in development and execution of thermal and renewable power, oil and gas, railroad transportation and other industrial projects as well as manufacturing equipment.
The company has received a few F-Class turbines from the German tech giant Siemens along with knowhow to manufacture the turbines inside the country.
Construction of another combined-cycle power plant also started in Ramhormoz with an annual capacity of 615 MW.
Using modern turbines, its gas and steam units will generate 410 MW and 205 MW of electricity respectively.
With a total investment of $395 million, the plant is planned to be linked to the national grid by 2022.
The minister said annual power generation capacity has reached 82,000 MW. “This allows us to export the extra electricity to neighbors when there is no domestic need.”
Import and Export
Iran's electricity industry ranks 14th in the world in terms of output and 19th in consumption. It is the largest exporter and importer of electricity in the Middle East and sells power to Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, actual production is around 58,000 MW due to shortage of water for hydroelectric power plants and periodic overhauls. In summers, the country faces shortages in some regions.
Under swap deals, Iran exports electricity to Armenia and Azerbaijan in winter and imports when domestic demand soars in summer.
Ardakanian also broke ground for the construction of Lali Dam in the city of Lali. The dam can store 38 million cubic meters of water and is expected to be completed in three years.
According to reports, the dam will cost $12.5 million and upon completion will be used to provide water for drinking and irrigation.
Since the beginning of the current water year in September, average rainfall in Khuzestan surpassed 485 millimeters – up 56% compared to the corresponding period last year.
Higher precipitation in the past six months has increased the water stored in Maroun, Karkheh and Dez dams in the oil province, which has suffered from drought for at least ten years. More rainfall has been predicted in the southwest before the current fiscal is out late this month.