The client is Iran Mines & Mineral Industries Development & Renovation Organisation (Imidro), a subsidiary of the Mines & Industry Ministry, which will supply the power to Al-Mahdi’s aluminium offtaker on a buyback basis. Azarab Energy will use turbines supplied by Italy’s Ansaldo Energiafor the single-cycle plant.

The finance is to be arranged within six months by Mediocredito Centrale, with 70 per cent coming from the Italian export credit agency SACE and the remainder as a commercial loan.

Azarab Energy was also the lowest bidder, with the highest technical rating, for phase 2 of the Al-Mahdi power project, a 1,000-MW plant to be carried out on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. Bids were opened six months ago, but an official award has still to be made.