Iran to construct 48 power plants in Indonesia in 5yrs

Reuters / Beawiharta
Iran and Indonesia have agreed to build 48 small-scale hydroelectric power plants. The two countries seeking to improve ties harmed by sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear program.

The power plants will be constructed in Indonesia by Iranian companies in the next five years, Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said after a conference with Indonesian economy minister Sofyan Djalil, Press TV reported Monday.

“Indonesia plans to commission and build 48 power plants in line with climatic changes in the country. Similarly, the country would commission small-scale hydroelectric power plants with 1-10 megawatt capacity range”, Indonesian minister said, adding that Iranian contractors “would be of great help in Indonesian electricity market in that specific activity.”

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Djalil headed the Indonesian delegation of trade and economic experts in Tehran for the 11th Iran-Indonesia joint economic commission. With the looming agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program the two countries started improving ties. They signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the fields of industry, investment, trade, customs and banking.

Jakarta intends to resume oil imports from Iran, joining China, India, Japan and South Korea that are the main customers of the Iranian crude in Asia. The country currently imports 800,000 to 900,000 barrels per day of crude oil.

Last year Iran and Indonesia signed an agreement to build a refinery in Indonesia to process 300,000 barrels per day of Iranian heavy crude oil. The project requires around $3 billion of investment, 70 percent of which will be covered by Indonesians and the rest by Iran.

Trade between Iran and Indonesia stood at $450 million last year, a drop on the $2 billion before the West intensified sanctions on Iran in 2012. Banking is the main hurdle in the cooperation as money transactions with Iran have been restricted by sanctions.

Iran and the P5+1 powers (China, France, Russia, UK, US and Germany) agreed on a preliminary deal over the country’s nuclear program earlier in April. Under the framework, Iran will not pursue new enrichment facilities, or heavy water reactors, for 15 years. A final agreement must be reached by June 30, 2015.

Iran was placed under harsh international sanctions as the West believes that it is developing its nuclear program to make an atomic bomb. Tehran has denied all the accusations.