EghtesadOnline: Cooperation between Iran and Azerbaijan has improved in recent years, especially in the energy sector, First Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Shahin Mustafayev said Tuesday in a meeting in Tehran with Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian.
“In the past four years, presidents of the two countries held 12 meetings that produced important cooperation documents,” the Energy Ministry news portal Paven quoted Mustafayev as saying.
Ardakanian said Iran is trying to synchronize its power grid with Azerbaijan “as soon as possible.”
Although an electricity exchange scheme already exists between the two sides “we are looking for bigger objectives by linking the two electricity networks,” Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
The two sides discussed renewing the contract for Iran’s power import from Azerbaijan next summer and collaboration related to Azeri power export to neighbors.
Iran has said it is planning to connect its power grid to Russia through the Republic of Azerbaijan.
In February electricity experts from Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan met in Moscow and discussed technicalities of creating an energy corridor that envisages export of Russian electricity to Azerbaijan and Iran.
In a memorandum of understanding signed in 2015, the three sides agreed to synchronize their power grids by 2020 and pave the way for electricity trade between Tehran and Moscow.
In 2018 Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran created a working group to chart ways to synchronize their energy infrastructure.
The network will connect the three countries’ power grids with the aim of reducing outages during high seasons.
Iran and Azerbaijan signed a MoU in 2015 regarding power exchange. The two nations can exchange close to 700 megawatts a year.
Iran’s annual electricity export to neighbors is close to 2,000 MW with the bulk going to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. Azerbaijan and Armenia supply electricity to Iran under a swap agreement.
Following closer collaboration between Iran and Iraq, the two neighbor’s power grids were synchronized last month.
During his visit to Tehran, Mustafayev met President Hassan Rouhani who said Tehran is determined to carry out joint oil projects with Azerbaijan in the Caspian Sea.
Rouhani said Iran is pursuing implementation of joint projects in oil exploration and extraction in the Caspian Sea with the northern neighbor.
He called for closer cooperation between the two countries in other sectors such as construction of dams and railroads, science and technology projects, construction of industrial complexes and power plants in the border regions.
The senior Azeri official said interaction between the two sides has been growing in all areas. Mustafayev noted that the volume of bilateral trade has tripled since 2014 and the number of Iranian companies in the Azeri Republic had risen by 50% over the past year.