EghtesadOnline: Twenty water and electricity projects costing $111 million were inaugurated Thursday in Hormozgan Province. These include a desalination plant with a capacity of 20,000 cubic meters in Bandar Abbas and increasing capacity of a steam unit at a Bandar Abbas power plant by 115 megawatts.
The first gas unit of Qeshm combined-cycle power plant with 170 MW capacity, water supply to Bashagard City, several power transmission projects plus two water supply projects for farming were also launched, Mehr News Agency reported.
The projects are tuned to also reducing energy losses and boosting sustainability with the help of modern equipment and increasing power network stability.
A major project was the second phase of a water desalination plant in Bandar Abbas with daily capacity of 20,000 cubic meters.
The first phase with the same capacity came on stream in 2017. The government has promised to complete the facility, with total capacity of 100,000 cubic meters, by the end of the fiscal year in March 2021.
Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian earlier in the month said major desalination projects in southern regions would no longer be an environmental concern because they would use waste heat from power plants as the main source of energy.
He said power stations would provide energy needed to run major desalination projects along the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea coasts.
At the inauguration ceremony via videoconferencing, President Hassan Rouhani emphasized the need for optimal use of all water resources, including seawater.
"Currently, approximately 26 billion cubic meters of seawater is provided to the coastal provinces in the country without desalination,” he said.
Caspian Sea in the north and Persian Gulf and Oman Sea in the south are important water sources for coastal regions.
“Furthermore, 1.4 billion cubic meters of seawater has been considered to be supplied to the coastal provinces after desalination".
About 3.7 billion cubic meters has been considered for non-coastal regions like Kerman and Yazd," Rouhani added.
Water Transfer Project
The first phase of a water transfer project from the Persian Gulf to Kerman and Yazd provinces is underway and will be completed by March.
Despite strong opposition from conservationists and environmental experts, the government says it hopes water transfer from the Persian Gulf in the south would help alleviate the systemic water crisis in the two important central regions. In addition to Kerman and Yazd, plans call for supplying water from the waterway to Hormozgan Province
The three provinces have no more access to underground water resources and largely suffer from low precipitation.
Upon completion of the first phase of the water project, 150 million cubic meters of seawater will be pumped annually to the water-stressed areas.
Although experts consider water transfer schemes to be environmentally hazardous and destructive, using water from Persian Gulf is said to be the “last resort” as Iran grapples with the unending water crisis that has gotten worse.
Another project launched in the province was the first 170 MW gas unit of a combined-cycle power plant in Qeshm Island off the Persian Gulf.
The second gas unit with the same capacity will come online soon and a 160 MW steam unit is also under construction and is expected to be ready by September.
A water treatment unit will come on stream as the last part of the project. It will produce 100,000 million cubic meters of desalinated water when fully operational.