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EghtesadOnline: Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian arrived in Moscow Thursday for talks with his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak and follow up on a planned $5 billion loan from the government in Russia.

The meeting was held in the framework of Iran-Russia Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Cooperation, the Energy Ministry news portal Paven reported.

Agreements related to energy, agriculture, industry, banking and technical affairs were discussed by the two sides.

The idea of the Russian loan was conceived in 2015, but the final documents were signed in September this year, according to Financial Tribune.

A major part of the loan will be used for construction of a 1,400 megawatt thermal power plant in Sirik County in southern Hormozgan Province.

Iran's Thermal Power Plants Holding Company has signed a contract with Russia’s Technopromexport to build the power plant comprising four units, each to produce 350 MWs.

It is estimated to cost $1.2 billion. The Russian side will pay 85% of the cost and the rest will come from Iran's Bank of Industry and Mine.

The project will create 3,000 jobs and 500 more will work at the station as soon as its first unit goes on stream. The plant is planned to come online in five years.



Other Projects

TPPHC has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Russian company Power Machines to develop and modernize Ramin Power Plant in Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province.

The Russian firm will finance the project expected to cost $510 million. Iranian companies will cooperate with the Russians to renovate the plant.

Located in the southwest, Ramin Plant is a natural gas-fired power plant built on 156 hectares. It has six thermal units with total capacity of 1,850 megawatts. The renovation project will help increase power output by 180 MW.

Another project the Russian side will assist is the Gotvand Hydroelectric Power Plant in Gotvand County, in oil-rich Khuzestan Province. Capacity of the station will increase from the current 1,000 1,640 MW.

Other projects to benefit from the Russian aid includes electrifying the railroad between Incheh Borun in Golestan Province and Garmsar County in Semnan Province in north Iran, adding 2000 subway carriages to the urban transport system and construction of a railroad between Zahedan, capital of Sistan-Baluchestan Province, and Birjand, capital of South Khorasan Province in the southeast.



Bilateral Ties

In June Iran and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding to boost energy cooperation, covering oil, gas, petrochemicals, electricity and nuclear power.

Standardizing Iranian oil industry equipment is one of the issues that the two countries have agreed upon. Cooperation in the Caspian Sea is another topic of interest.

It is reported that both sides are making efforts to build a legal basis and infrastructure for expanding collaboration to evade the new US sanctions.

The US reimposed economic restrictions on Iran’s key economic sectors last November after unilaterally pulling out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six other countries.

Earlier this year, electricity experts from Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan discussed technicalities for creating an energy corridor that calls for power exchange among the three nations.

As per a MOU signed in 2015, the three sides have decided 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 systems.

The inter-linked network will connect power infrastructure in the three nations to reduce outages during high seasons.


Iran Russia Loan Alexander Novak energy projects Reza Ardakanian