Iran is considering increasing the export of electricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan in an effort to become a regional hub in power generation and supply, Iran’s state media agency IRNA reported.
“Given the fact that neighbouring countries, especially Afghanistan and Pakistan, need electricity, necessary measures should be adopted to link Iran’s power grid to theirs,” Davoud Manzour, deputy executive director of Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company, said.
Manzour said, the country is expected to turn into a regional hub in power generation and supply.
In January, Iran's Deputy Energy Minister for planning and economic affairs Alireza Daemi said Iran hoped to boost power exchanges with regional countries, especially its neighbors.
He said Iran planned to increase electric exchanges with regional countries, including Russia, Tajikistan and the Persian Gulf states.
"The current power grid network and the exchanges of electricity enable Iran to be connected to Georgia via Armenia's power grid and to Slovenia and Europe via Turkey," he said.
According to IRNA, Iran already exports nearly 190 megawatt-hours of electricity to Afghanistan.
The news agency reported that since March 21, the start of the current solar year, more than 48,000 megawatts of electricity has been exported to Afghanistan through Dogharoun distribution post.
This electricity provides 13,000 households in Afghanistan with power, IRNA reported.
Iran is the largest exporter and importer of electricity in the Middle East and currently exports power to Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Iran's Financial Tribune newspaper.
In addition, Iran exports electricity to Armenia and Azerbaijan in winter and imports it when domestic demand soars in summer, under swap deals.
The country also signed an agreement to export electricity with India along with Pakistan in 2012, in which Iran agreed to deliver 4,000 megawatt to India through Pakistan.
According to the latest data released last October, Iran's electricity exports rose nearly 25 percent between March and September from the same period a year ago.
"Around 5.16 million kilowatt-hours of electricity were exported to neighbors in six months compared to 4.14 million kilowatt-hours in the first half of the previous fiscal year, up more than one million kilowatt-hours," Iran's Deputy Energy Minister for Electricity and Energy Affairs Houshang Falahatian was also quoted as saying.
An Iran's Energy Ministry report, released last year, revealed the country's revenue from power exports amounted to $3.37 billion US dollars between September 2013 and May 2017.
Falahatian added that more than 40.12 billion kilowatt-hours of power were exported to neighboring states in the period. Furthermore, 54 new power plants became operational and the country's installed capacity experienced an 8,000-megawatt increase, standing at 77,000 MW.