Iran has signed an agreement to build a 540-megawatt (MW) gas fired power plant in Syria’s coastal city of Latakia, asserting its role in the Arab’s country reconstruction after years of an imposed war.
A memorandum of understanding was signed in Tehran on the sidelines of a meeting between Syrian Energy Minister Mohammad Zuhair Kharboutli and his Iranian counterpart Reza Ardakanian, for the project to be launched next year.
Iran’s power and infrastructure group MAPNA will build the first gas unit of the facility in 15 months and the second gas unit in 24, plus a third unit running on steam within 34 months at a combined cost of 411 million euros.
According to Kharboutli, the natural gas needed in the power plant will be fed from Syrian fields through a 70-kilometer pipeline.
Having provided steady political and military advisory aid to Syria in its fight against foreign-backed terrorists, Tehran has assured Damascus that it is ready to take up a major role in the Arab country’s reconstruction.
An Iranian delegation has traveled to Syria to pave the way for a post-war “transformation” in their economic ties, Iran’s official IRNA news agency reports.
After a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus in August, Iran’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami said the two sides agreed that Iran would have “presence, participation and assistance” in Syria’s reconstruction “and no third party will restrict it”.
“Syria is at a very, very important juncture. It is passing through the critical stage and it is entering the very important stage of reconstruction,” said Hatami.
Iran signed an agreement in 2017 to repair Syria’s power grid, including the main control center for the electricity grid in the capital Damascus.
Syrian Electricity Minister Mohammad Zuhair Kharboutli traveled to Tehran as the Arab country is looking to friendly states to help rebuild the country after more than six years of war.
Iranian companies are already involved in Syria and Ardakanian said 900 MW of power plants have been built by MAPNA in the country so far. “This capacity has been added to Syria’s power grid especially under the war situation.”
Another company, Iran Power Plant Repairs, is also cooperating on the reconstruction and repair of Syrian power units. Ardakanian said another power plant will be built by Iranians in Aleppo.
“Today, the Syrian Minister of Electricity announced that the formalities for the construction of the 125 MW gas fired power plant in the Aleppo region have been finalized and approved,” he said.
“In addition, a new area for cooperation in the field of renewable energy is discussed and a 51 megawatt wind power plant is on the cards, for which negotiations have been held and are progressing,” he added.
President Assad has said reconstruction is his “top priority” after liberating much of the country from foreign-backed terrorists with crucial help from Iran.
He has welcomed Iran’s participation in rebuilding Syria which has had strong ties with the Islamic Republic for decades.
The Islamic Republic provided Syria a $3.5 billion credit line in 2013, and extended it by $1 billion in 2015. Ardakanian said on Tuesday he was hopeful that a second credit line would be launched between the two countries.
In January 2017, the two countries signed several agreements during a visit by Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis to Tehran, under which Iran would build a mobile service operator in the Arab country.