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Thu 1 Mar 2007 12:00 AM

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Iran’s hydro power ambitions

Iranian company Farab starts its first international power project.

Iranian company, Farab has won an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for a 4 000 MW hydro power plant in Tajikistan. The project was commissioned three months ago and is scheduled for completion in 2011.

“We have started the preparation and site mobilisation for this project. Each unit will hold a capacity of 220 MW,” said Ramin Behzad, area marketing manager for Farab.

The company currently has five existing hydro power plants in Iran, and a further six under construction. This is the first project Farab has undertaken outside of Iran.

“We are trying to establish projects in every African country,” added Behzad. “We have bid on contracts in Nigeria and Kenya. The demand for hydro-electric power in these countries is higher than ever because of the increasing price of gas and petroleum. Countries are moving to hydro-electric to satisfy their demand for power. African countries have great potential for this type of power.”

The project mirrors a wider effort by Iran to increase hydroelectric power generation capacity by 3 300 MW by the end of its five-year development plan in 2010. Naser Ehsani, deputy head of technical and development projects at Iran’s Water and Energy Resources Development Company, said several dam construction projects and hydroelectric power stations will become operational by the end of this period.

The company is also planning to build several hydroelectric dams in an effort to generate over 16 000 MW of electricity in the near future.

“In Iran, electricity demand is increasing 8% every year,” said Behzad. “Therefore, if we produce 40 000 MW from our hydro power plant, after one year we will have to up this to 45 000 MW.“

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