Tehran, Moscow negotiating $10b power deal

TEHRAN – Iran and Russia are negotiating to sign a deal, worth about $10 billion, to boost bilateral ties in the power sector.
In a meeting between Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian and his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak in Tehran, the two sides agreed to launch joint ventures for building thermal and hydroelectric power plants, establishing transmission lines, and expanding supply networks, the Mehr News Agency reported on Sunday.
Novak said based on a proposed plan, Russia will export 500 megawatts (MW) of electricity to Iran. He added that the two countries have formed an ad hoc committee, tasked with conducting technical studies in this respect.
Meanwhile, Tehran’s ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanaei said on Friday that the implementation of Iran-Russia energy agreements holds the key to expansion of bilateral relations in other economic spheres.
In a meeting with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in Moscow, Sanaei underlined the importance of the current year for promotion of Iran-Russia cooperation and called for the implementation of oil, gas and electricity deals signed between the two sides, according to Press TV.
Sanaei also expressed Tehran’s willingness to purchase electricity from Russia and use the country’s assistance in the construction of thermal power plants and renovation of two power stations in central and southwestern Iran.
Iran-Russia trade currently totals $5 billion a year, but economists say the two countries can at least quadruple the volume of their trade exchanges.
On April 6, Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Rokneddin Javadi said Tehran and Moscow are engaged in serious negotiations to launch a south-north reverse oil swap project, adding, however, that the time for the start of the swap operation has not been finalized yet.
Earlier this month, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said the Islamic Republic is determined to raise the volume of its “economic transactions” with Russia under long-term deals.

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