Iran has expressed readiness to increase electricity exports to neighboring Iraq in order to help the country overcome its shortage of power resources in summer.

“Iraq’s Electricity Ministry officials have asked for an increase in power imports from Iran and we have announced that we are willing to provide the country with the available maximum [daily] capacity of 1,200 MW,” Iran's Energy Minister Majid Namjou told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting with Iraq’s Electricity Minister Abdul Kareem Aftan on Thursday.

“We are also ready to build new power plants in order to increase the capacity of power exports to Iraq,” Namjou added.

Referring to the newly commissioned Karkheh-al-Emara power transmission line, the Iranian minister said, “The power line has increased the capacity of Iran’s [daily] electricity exports to Iraq to 1,200 MW.”

“Iranian companies are ready to establish a presence in the Iraqi power plant sector,” Namjou further said.

The Iranian energy minister also noted that Iraq owes Tehran USD 500 million for electricity supplies and that negotiations are underway to help speed up the payment.

Iran is currently exchanging electricity with Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Pakistan, Nakhichevan, Turkey and Turkmenistan.

Iran's total annual power generation capacity stands at 63,403 MW while the total length of the power grid exceeds 780,000 km.

According to the Iranian Energy Ministry statistics, the country will be exporting up to USD 1 billion worth of electricity by March 2012.

Iran seeks to become a major regional exporter of electricity and has attracted more than USD 1.1 billion in investments to build three new power plants.

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News ID 181576