By Ebrahim Fallahi

High-efficiency power plants to help Iran compensate for power shortage

September 8, 2021 - 15:25

TEHRAN - Over the past decade, constant temperature rising and the significant decrease of rainfalls across Iran have put the country in a hard situation regarding electricity supply during peak consumption periods.

Despite having one of the most developed electricity networks in the region, the country’s power industry has been struggling to meet the ever-increasing demand by the expanding industrial sector which has been booming following the country’s new strategies for cutting reliance on oil as the major source of revenue.

In addition to the mentioned developments, new deteriorating factors such as illegal cryptocurrency mining across the country have also worsened the situation.

In this regard, the country’s Energy Ministry has been looking for new ways for compensating for the power shortages and to meet the increasing electricity demand in the country.

Back in August, Iranian Energy Minister Ali-Akbar Mehrabian said inefficient power plants and drought were the major challenges of the country’s electricity sector. So, increasing the efficiency of the country’s power plants and preventing the electricity loss in the network have been among the major strategies that the ministry has been following in this due.

According to Mehrabian, the actual power generation by the country’s power plants is significantly low compared to their number and this is mostly due to the non-standard conditions of power plants.

To resolve this issue, the Energy Ministry has been taking serious measures for boosting the efficiency of the country’s power plants and even to build new high-efficiency plants.

According to the country’s Sixth Five-Year National Development Plan (2016-2021), new power plants in Iran should operate with an efficiency of at least 55 percent; this goal can only be realized by constructing a new generation of power plants with high efficiency.

As the first step in the mentioned direction, the ministry has inked an agreement with the MAPNA Group, as the country’s leading holding involved in the development and execution of thermal and renewable power plants, for constructing 5,000 megawatts (MW) of high-efficiency power plants across the country.

Following the mentioned agreement, the country’s first high-efficiency F-class power plant which was constructed under the mentioned agreement by the private sector started operation in late August.

According to the Manager of Iranian Thermal Power Plants Holding (TPPH)’s private power plants program Roohollah Espanani, this combined cycle power plant, called Caspian, is constructed with €260 million of investment and has the capacity of 460 MW.

The efficiency of the power plant, which is located near Nowshahr city in northern Mazandaran province, is 58 percent in the combined cycle mode.

It is the first single-axis power plant in the country that uses Class F gas turbines and its commercial operation while helping to meet the needs of the country's electricity network, will play an important role in reducing blackouts in Mazandaran province during the peak consumption period in the upcoming years, the official said.

“High efficiency of the Caspian power plant is considered an important step in the implementation of the country's general policies regarding the optimal use of fuel and prevention of wasting national wealth; this high-efficiency power plant, in addition to saving billions of dollars in natural gas consumption, has a significant impact on reducing polluting emissions, especially in Mazandaran province,” Espanani said.

Following the operation of the first high-efficiency power plant, now the TPPH’s Deputy Head Hamidreza Azimi has announced that the second such power plant is going to go operational by the second quarter of the next Iranian calendar year (May 22, 2022).

The mentioned power plant which is currently under construction in the southwestern Khuzestan Province will have a power generation capacity of 451 MW which will be supplied by a gas and a steam unit.

Constructing such modern power plants is a great step for improving the country’s electricity industry which has a long history in the region.

Hopefully, with such power plants being added to the country’s power generation sector, a significant part of the problems regarding the electricity shortage will be eliminated in the near future.


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