World Bulletin/News Desk
Iran plans to privatize 22 power plants during the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 21, the Fars News Agency quoted power sector privatization project manager Bahman Allahmoradi as saying.
To date, 22 power plants with a total generation capacity of 19,500 megawatts have been privatized, he said, adding that shares of 22 other power plants, valued at 180 trillion rials, will be sold to the private sector.
In May, Deputy Energy Minister Mohammad Behzad said that Iran plans to privatize 28 power plants by the end of the current calendar year (March 20, 2014).
In the previous Iranian calendar year which ended March 20, eight power plants were privatized, the ISNA News Agency quoted Behzad as saying.
Currently, the private sector produces 40 per cent of the country's total electricity, Behzad said, adding that the amount would reach 60 percent by the end of the current year.
Iranian Energy Minister Majid Namjou said last November that according to the Constitution, the generation and distribution sectors of the power industry should be privatized and the transmission sector should remain state-owned.
Iran's power generation capacity has grown by seven per cent annually during the past 10 years. This figure averages 3.5 per cent worldwide.
Iran currently trades power with Turkey, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. In an effort to diversify its destination markets, Iran plans to export electricity to Europe and Africa.
Tehran seeks to become a major regional exporter of electricity and has attracted more than $1.1 billion in investments for the construction of three new power plants.
Based on the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan, Iran should annually add 5,000 MW to its power generation capacity.
Iran plans to boost its electricity generation capacity to reach 73GW by the end of the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (March 2016).