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Iran to appear as regional electricity transit center: minister

(Xinhua)

08:48, May 14, 2012

TEHRAN, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Energy Minister Majid Namjou said Saturday that the Iranian government plans to turn the country into a center for the transit of electricity in the region, the English-language satellite Press TV reported.

"The (Iranian) government is following up many development plans outside the country pertaining to power and energy and seeks to emerge as the regional power transit hub," Namjou was quoted as saying.

The Iranian minister said the country seeks to provide countries including Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan with electricity.

He underlined the necessity to prepare the infrastructures for the transfer of nuclear electricity from Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Russia to other countries in the region.

Iran's electricity network is integrated into the power grids of seven neighboring countries -- Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, according to the report.

Iran had a total annual electricity generation capacity of 53, 000 MW before 2009, which currently exceeds 60,000 MW, said Press TV.

Earlier this month, the Russian contractor of Iran's about-to- complete Bushehr nuclear power plant, Atomstroyexport, said in a statement that the plant would start to reach its full capacity from May 23 as scheduled.

According to Atomstroyexport, Bushehr, the first nuclear power plant in Iran, has successfully reached 90 percent of its nominal capacity in routine trials in early May.

The construction of the 1,000-MW nuclear power plant halted when the United States imposed a hi-tech embargo on Iran after the 1979 Islamic revolution. Russia signed a contract with Iran in 1998 to complete the construction. However, the project was postponed several times due to technical and financial challenges as well as pressure from the United States.

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