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2 April 2012 - 23:03

Iran's deputy energy minister for electricity and energy affairs says the country has diversified electricity exports to neighboring countries and is ready to start exporting nuclear power.

“In addition to electricity produced by thermal, gas-fueled, combined cycle, and hydropower plants, nuclear electricity has been added to the country’s power export basket,” Mohammad Behzad said on Monday.

The deputy minister stated that Iran is currently implementing various contracts for exporting electricity to neighboring countries.

He added that exporting nuclear power becomes possible as the power generation capacity of Bushehr nuclear power plant increases.

Iran officially launched Bushehr nuclear power plant on September 12, 2011, which started by generating electricity at 40 percent of its capacity. The plant gained almost half of its nominal power on October 7, 2011, as it reached the capacity of 420 MW.

Behzad said Iran is currently exporting a combination of various forms of electricity to other countries, including Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Pakistan.

Referring to Iran's negotiations for exporting electricity to India, he added that New Delhi has asked for about 6,000 megawatts (MW) of Iranian electricity.

The official said Iran's power generation capacity increased about 4,000 MW last year to a total of 240 billion kilowatt hours.

Behzad said electricity exports to neighboring countries grew by about 30 percent last year to hit 8.5 billion kilowatt hours.

Iran had a total annual electricity generation capacity of 53,000 MW before 2009, which has now exceeded 60,000 MW as a result of the country’s plan to add 5,000 MW of capacity to the grid annually.

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News Code 181661