Turkish company to build seven natural gas plants for Iran at $4.2 billion

Turkish energy company Unit International has agreed to build seven natural gas power plants with a combined installed capacity of 6020MW, in a deal worth $4.2 billion with Iran’s Energy Ministry. This is said to be the biggest investment in Iran since the lifting of sanctions. The agreement was signed recently at a ceremony in Tehran.

A total of seven power stations are to be built in seven separate regions of Iran, and when completed the power plants are likely to meet 10 percent of Iran's energy needs. Construction of the seven plants is expected to begin early next year.

Unit International is owned by Ünal Aysal, the former chairman of major Turkish soccer club Galatasaray. The company has signed a 20-year agreement with Iranian officials to build the power plants on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) model.

Aysal said, “Over this period, Iran will provide natural gas to us. Iran will also purchase the power that will be generated by us on a pre-defined price for a six-year period. After this, the electricity will be exported by Iran or sold in the country’s free market.”

Mohsen Tarztalab, the head of Thermal Power Plant Holding, which is responsible for the deal on behalf of the Iranian Energy Ministry said, “As the gas-fired power plants have outmoded technologies, their efficiency levels are low. The power plants that will be built by Aysal’s company will be two times more efficient than the existing ones.”