Jun 17, 2020 05:51 UTC
  • Iran resumes electricity imports from Turkmenistan

Iran has resumed imports of electricity from neighboring Turkmenistan amid a surge in domestic consumption that requires moves to spread the load across the national power grid.

Head of Iran-Turkmenistan Joint Chamber of Commerce Majid Mohammad Nejad said on Tuesday that Iran would pay for electricity provided by the Turkmens through bartering goods.

“Imports of 250 megawatts (MW) of electricity from Turkmenistan is to begin today and imports would be in the form of barter with goods,” Mohammad Nejad told the semi-official ILNA news agency.

Resumed power imports from Turkmenistan come as Iran is nearing its peak time of consuming electricity in hot summer months.

The Energy Ministry said on Sunday that daily amount of power use across the country had broken a record of 55,000 MW while warning that blackouts would be inevitable if consumption is not controlled.

A major supplier of electricity to four neighboring countries of Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Iran uses intermittent supplies from Turkmenistan and on a smaller scale from Armenia to balance the load across its power grid.

Iran imported a total of 1.2 terawatt hours, or nearly 140 MW, from Turkmenistan in the calendar year ending March 19, according to the Energy Ministry figures.  

Mohammad Nejad’s suggestion that Turkmen electricity could be paid for by Iranian products and goods come as trade between the two countries have come to a halt mainly because of border closures related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Turkmenistan is Iran’s main gate of trade to the Central Asia region with three crossings on the border.

Building a series of new infrastructure projects across the border with Turkmenistan and further into the country, Iran plans to exponentially increase the size of its exports to countries in the region once pandemic-related restrictions are eased.