Bushehr power plant near completion

July 26, 2007 - 0:0

TEHRAN (PIN) -- Bushehr nuclear power plant will become operational in the second half of the year (by March 2008), head of the power plant’s workshop announced on Monday.

Mahmud Ja’fari told IRIB News that the power plant in the southern city of Bushehr has made 93.6 percent progress. Stressing that the power plant, once operational, would create jobs for over 4,000 people, the official noted that 700 Iranian experts have undergone three-year training courses in Russia on operating the power plant. They are currently cooperating with Russian specialists to install and launch it, he added. According to the official, some one-fortieth of the national electricity will be supplied by the 1,000-megawatt power plant once it becomes operational. Ja’fari further unveiled a plan to construct a center for education of nuclear technology in the power plant. He concluded that over 30,000 people visited the power plant in the year to March 2007. Iran hopes that the country’s first nuclear power plant being built by the Russian company Atomstroiexport will meet part of its growing electricity demand. The nuclear plant was scheduled to start in September, 2006, but the 1 billion dollar project has been hit with repeated delays, most recently the dispute between Moscow and Tehran over payment. Meanwhile, managing director of Iran’s Power Development Company (IPDC) said that some 3,500 to 4,000 megawatts of thermal energy will be added to the national electricity grid by March 2008. Mahmud Behzad noted that power plants funded by private investors supply 40 percent of this. In other words, private power plants will generate some 1,400-1,600 megawatts of the 3,500-4,000 megawatts of electricity. He promised that the share of private power plants will rise each year in the national electricity grid. “Construction of power plants by the government has reduced in the past two years. In 2011, no new state power plant will be launched.” The move is in line with the Article 44 of the Constitution which seeks large-scale privatization in key economic areas and downsizing the government. The official recalled that some 1,114 megawatts of electricity generated by thermal power plants and 250 megawatts produced by Masjed Soleiman hydroelectric power plant have been added to the national electricity grid since March 2007. In a related development, Behzad unveiled that 37 new power plants will be built by private sector to generate over 28,000 megawatts of electricity.