Iran, Russia to Connect Electricity Networks in Near Future

Iran, Russia to Connect Electricity Networks in Near Future

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran's energy minister said the new government is serious about increasing electricity exports and connecting the national grid to those of all neighboring countries.

“Iran has energy exchange projects with all countries with which it shares a land border, namely Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian told Tasnim News Agency on Saturday.

He added that the Iranian electricity industry is recognized today as the region’s energy hub and that foreign demand for Iran's electricity outstrips its export capacity.

"The power grids of Iran and Russia can be connected either through Azebaijan or Turkmenistan, which raises issues such as power transit and even increased energy imports by these two countries from Iran, and such issues will be addressed in future negotiations," the minister said.

The Iranian energy minister also told Tasnim that the construction work of submarine cables to transfer Iranian electricity to the countries on the southern shores of the Persian Gulf, which have good capacities for electricity export and import, has started.

A top electricity official had said last week that the price of Iran’s electricity exported to neighboring countries is about 10 US cents per KW hour, which needs to be revised, adding that the country exported $800 million worth of electricity last year.

“The current rate -- about 10 US cents per kilowatt hour -- for electricity exports needs to be revised,” said Managing Director of Iran Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Management Company (TAVANIR) Homayoun Hayeri.

Two weeks ago, too, a senior energy official said Iran was planning to connect its national grid to those of Russia and Europe, adding that preparations to connect Iran's electricity network to Russia's were underway.

“The connection (of power grid) to Russia and Europe, which has been in (Iran’s) electricity industry’s program for a few years, has witnessed progress… completion of these (power transmission) lines are underway,”  Mohammad Behzad, Iran’s deputy minister of energy for electricity and energy affairs, told Tasnim.

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