EghtesadOnline: The Energy Ministry has 1360 water, power and wastewater projects in South Khorasan Province that have registered average progress of 40%, the energy minister said Thursday.
In his trip to the eastern province, Reza Ardakanian said: “Over $667 million has been invested in the projects, which are due to be completed by 2022,” the ministry news portal Paven quoted him as saying.
One of the main projects is Iran’s first coal-fired power plant. Located 85 kilometers off the city of Tabas and close to Mazino coal mine, the plant will have a capacity of 650 megawatts (two 325 MW units).
With 70% progress, one of the units is expected to come on line by the end of the year (March 2020), according to Financial Tribune.
Tabas is the richest and largest coal region in the country, accounting for 76% of Iran’s coal reserves.
The minister inaugurated a number of projects including water supply to 20 villages of Mahmoudabad County.
With the launch of the project 1,180 households have access to potable water.
Ardakanian also broke the ground for several projects including water supply in Tabas and Birjand and a solar power station in the provincial capital Birjand.
A border province, South Khorasan has suffered from frequent drought and lack of precipitation. To help address such issues several water projects are underway to provide people with drinking water.
Overall the province has better conditions regarding electricity. With a desert climate, it has high potential for harnessing renewable energy including solar and wind.
According to the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization (SATBA), the capacity of solar power plants in the South Khorasan has reached 18 MW and there are 200 rooftop photovoltaic power stations with a capacity of 2,000 kW.
In terms of installment and development of solar panels on rooftops, South Khorasan ranks seventh among the 31 provinces in the country.