Building new gas-fired power plants mulled

TEHRAN June 21(Shana)–Iran’s state-run gas company has held talks with four leading Iranian enterprises to start feasibility studies on constructing natural-gas-fueled power plants over the country in a bid to diversify away from gas exports, a senior gas official says.

Ali-Reza Kameli, head of National Iranian Gas Exports Company (NIGEC), said last year the company signed the first contract for so doing with an Iranian firm which is being followed by agreements with four other companies.

As he said major Iranian firms are now contemplating the construction of new gas power plants and are given 6 months at their leisure to submit their findings and decisions to NIGEC.

Kameli said Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Turkey and the UAE are the envisaged destinations for exporting electricity generated by the power plants.

He argued that converting gas into electricity is one way to diversity gas export which is being seriously pursued by Iran’s ministry of petroleum.

Pakistan desperately needs Iran’s power to resolve its load-shedding problem particularly during summer.

Iraq also is facing serious load-shedding and Iranian companies are operating 33 megaprojects, worth $1.5 billion, in Iraq for the time being.