Iran to upgrade power plant serving world’s biggest gas field

Iran is set to upgrade a gas-fired power plant serving the world’s largest gas field, the country’s news agency reported this week.

The 1 GW plant in the Persian Gulf supplies power to the South Pars gas field shared by Iran and Qatar, running eight refineries as well as other processing facilities and downstream enterprises and providing backup power.

The plant features six 157 MW generation units, a gas pressure reducing station, a compressor station, a fire station, two 132 kV substations and a 400 kV substation.

Alireza Abadi, who was appointed in October as minister and CEO of Iran’s national oil refining and distribution company, told news agency IRNA that the plant is planned to be upgraded to a combined-cycle system “to curb the adverse effects on the environment and increase efficiency”.

He said the upgrade is expected to boost the plant’s efficiency from 25-40 per cent to 60 per cent.

In a move aimed at phasing out older and less efficient plants, Iran’s energy ministry has decreed that all new power plants or units must be at least 58 per cent efficient.

Generation units at the South Pars plant came online in 2000 and were installed by Iran’s MAPNA group.

A second 1500 MW power plant is planned for the site, and a 400 kV gas-insulated substation is expected to come online in May. A 400 kV transmission line has already been completed to supply power from the central plant to the South Pars 2 region.

Iran has added around 800 MW of new power capacity in recent months, or an increase of around 1 per cent on its installed capacity of 77 GW. à‚ 

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