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EghtesadOnline: The third steam unit of Shirvan Combined Cycle Power Plant in Shirvan County, North Khorasan Province, was launched Sunday.

Producing 160 megawatts, the unit cost $205 million and will supply sustainable electricity to help economic development in the northeast regions, IRNA reported.

“Iranian engineers built the unit in its entirety,” director of combined cycle power plant projects at the Thermal Power Plants Holding Company said. It will play a key role in power supply as the population grows along with industries and the agricultural sector, Alireza Nasrollahi said.

Natural gas is the feedstock of the plant but it can use diesel if gas deliveries decline, the official said, adding that two storage tanks with total capacity of 40,000 cubic meters have been built for diesel and ensure the plant does not face disruptions.

Regarding the use of mazut in the plant, Nasrollahi said: “Technology used in combined cycle power plants is such that mazut cannot be used. This type of fuel can only be used in thermal power stations.”

Shirvan Power Plant was designed for six gas units each with a 159- MW capacity and is operating since 2007. The first two steam units with ame on stream in July 2019.

Now that the entire steam section is operational and the plant’s overall capacity has reached 1,434 MW that is supplied to North Khorasan Province (population 960,000) and regions in the east and northeast.



Higher Efficiency

The steam units are part of the energy policy to convert simple-cycle plants into combined-cycle ones and increase efficiency. Energy efficiency of conventional thermal power stations, considered salable energy produced as a percent of the heating value of the fuel consumed, is typically 33% to 48%.

Given the heat produced by gas and steam turbines, their efficiency is limited and governed by the laws of thermodynamics. Thermal accounts for 80% of total electricity generation in Iran and improving efficiency is crucial.

A combined-cycle power plant uses both gas and steam turbines to produce up to 50% more electricity from the same fuel input than a traditional plant. The waste heat from the gas turbine is rerouted to a steam turbine, which in turn generates more power.

Shirvan Power Plant has an efficiency rate of 49%. Each steam unit will annually help save 250 million cubic meters of gas.

Referring to the average efficiency of thermal power plants, Nasrollahi said it is near 39%. “By converting thermal power plants into combined cycle units, in addition to enchaining production efficiency will also rise.” 

The officials said “Now we have knowhow to design and manufacture F-Class gas turbines, which are among the advanced turbines in the world and help increase efficiency.”

In related news, 12 water and electricity projects costing $35 million were inaugurated in western Kurdistan Province on Sunday. Ramasht Dam near Sanandaj City, a water treatment plant in Saqqez, a wastewater plant in Kamyaran City, a small-scale power station and expansion of power transmission lines were among projects in the Kurdistan border region.


North Khorasan Steam Units Shirvan Cycle Power Plant