[MIDDLE EAST] Turkish companies to generate electricity in Iran

Turkey and Iran continue to improve cooperation on energy, having struck a deal to allow Turkish companies to generate and sell energy in Iran and build a second pipeline between the two countries. Turkish Foreign Trade Minister Kürsad Tüzmen was on a three-day visit to Iran for talks with Iranian officials and hinted at the start of a new process in energy between the two countries.

Noting that Turkey buys electricity from Turkmenistan via Iran and has a contract valued at $1.5 billion with Iran, Tüzmen told Iranian officials that Turkey intends to acquire part of this contract via transmission lines passing through Nakhchivan, located at Turkey's eastern border, with a view to improving economic activity in the region.

He quoted Iranian Energy Minister Parviz Fattah as saying, ""We may start on trilateral technical negotiations on this issue."" Turkey has a contract to import 150 megawatts of electricity from Iran, but half of this amount remains to be imported.

Another issue discussed during the Turkish minister's talks in Tehran was Turkish companies' energy investments in Iran. Tüzmen stated that the two countries have agreed in principle to allow Turkish companies to build natural gas power stations in Iran.

Thus, Turkish companies may construct power stations to generate electricity from natural gas and the power they generate may be sold to Turkey if need be. Tüzmen further indicated that they also discussed Turkey's initiative to build nuclear power plants for electricity generation, in which Iran shows close interest. Under the contract signed by the two countries, Iran is supposed to sell 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually to Turkey. However, it was only able to send 6 billion cubic meters last year.

Source: Today’s Zaman

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