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Iran to inaugurate its largest hydroelectric power plant Tuesday


Iran will inaugurate its largest hydroelectric power plant ever on Karkheh River, the southwestern province of Khuzestan, on Tuesday to increase the national electricity production capacity by 400 megawatts, IRNA reported on Monday quoting the press.

The Persian-language newspaper 'Iran' wrote that Karkheh Hydroelectric Power Plant will be the first such plant in the country after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, adding that it will be officially inaugurated by President Mohammad Khatami.

Iran quoted Managing Director of Iran's Water Resources and Energy Development Company, Ali-Akbar Zahmatkesh, as saying that Karkheh plant has three production units each with a capacity of 133.3 megawatts, adding that the units bring the total production potential of the plant to 400 megawatts.

Zahmatkesh said Karkheh plant has been established by using an investment of 1.025 trillion rials, stressing the project to construct the whole building of the dam and the plant had cost as much as 3.57 trillion rials.

He said 70 percent of the facilities of the plant is domestic, adding that 90 percent of designing of the project had been carried out by foreign experts abroad.

Zahmatkesh also said that the project has a delay of 20 percent. He further stressed that 10 foreign companies and about 110 Iranian enterprises have participated in the construction of Karkheh plant.

Zahmatkesh said the project to construct Karkheh plant had been launched in early 1998, and that the first unit of the plant had been inaugurated last September. He added that units 2 and 3 of the plant had come on stream last January and the past June, respectively.

The director further said that Karkheh plant has so far produced as much as 480 million megawatts of electricity since its units were inaugurated.

Meanwhile, Zahmatkesh told IRNA on Sunday that the capacity of Iran's hydroelectric power plants would reach 25,000 MWs by 2021, which constitutes around 25 percent of the entire production capacity of the nationwide power plants.

He added that some 4,400 megawatts will be added to the national grid by next March and that the remaining 5,600 megawatts will be produced at an average annual rate of 1,000 megawatts.

Karkheh dam -- Iran's largest dam ever -- is located 20 kilometers northwest of Andimeshk, Khuzestan province, on the Karkheh River. The dam is 3,030 meters long and 127 meters high. It is capable of storing 7.3 billions cubic meters of water in its reservoir to make Iran's largest artificial lake.

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