Iran has linked the price for export of 1,000 megawatts of electricity with international crude prices and the rate will fluctuate in the range of 7 to 11 cents per unit.
Pakistan and Iran have already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for electricity supply. According to a government official, the two sides have also agreed on the price which will be in the range of 7 to 11 cents per unit.
An official of the Ministry of Water and Power said gas prices in Iran were linked with global oil rates, therefore, it based the power price on crude oil prices in the international market.
According to the price formula, Pakistan will be paying a maximum rate of 11 cents per unit of electricity if crude prices reach $110 per barrel and the price range will be reviewed after five years.
“The electricity price has been capped by the time oil rates do not cross the $145 per barrel mark. However, if crude prices rise above that level, the two countries will be bound to review the electricity rate before the end of five-year period,” the ministry official said.
Under the proposed project, Iran will build a powerhouse in Zahedan province bordering Pakistan to generate electricity for export and has also expressed its willingness to provide $800 to $900 million for the project. A 700km transmission line of 500 kilovolts will also be laid from the Pak-Iran border to Quetta.
Some officials suggest that the government should ask Iran to install the power plant in Pakistan in order to avoid expenditure on laying the distribution and transmission line.
Besides the 1,000MW for which an MoU has been signed, Iran has also offered to export a huge quantity of 10,000MW to Pakistan.
However, the ministry official pointed out that Iran, at present, had no power plants to export such a huge quantity. “So the best way is to press Tehran to establish power plants in Pakistan,” the official said, adding Iran had already shown interest in setting up a 200MW plant in Balochistan near the border.
To push ahead with talks on electricity supply, a four-member delegation of Iran’s Mapna group of companies, headed by Abbas Ali Abadi, held a meeting with Federal Water and Power Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar at the ministry on Monday.
The delegation expressed great interest in the power sector and discussed the setting up of plants of 1,000MW capacity immediately. The Iranians were also keen on installing smaller plants of 25MW on the ground as well as on barges to help Pakistan overcome the prevailing power crisis.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2012.