Iran is pushing ahead with plans to add more than 3,000MW of gas-fired power generation capacity to its network, with a further 6,000MW to follow from steam turbines at the same plants.

Iran Power Development Company (IPDC) has issued a tender for the construction of seven gas-fired power plants spread across the country.

The plants will be built at Zanjan, Urmia and Semnan in the north, Islam-Abade Gharb and Mahshahr in the west and Hormozgan province and Iranshahr in the south. The successful bidder will finance, engineer, procure and construct the plants. The deadline for bids is 18 September.

Under the engineering, procurement and construction contract, the winning bidder will install a total of 20 gas turbines across the seven plants, with capacity of 159MW each.

Steam turbines will then be added to convert the plants into combined-cycle facilities, providing the extra capacity.

“All of them will be combined cycle,” says one IPDC official. “We are now executing the gas turbine part and in the near future we will start the steam part.”

A separate tender will be issued for the steam turbines at the end of the Iranian year, in late March 2009. The steam turbines will have a total capacity of 6,000MW, bringing the capacity of the plants to 9,180MW.

The consultant on the project is the local Moshanir Power Engineering Consultants. Moshanir is preparing an estimate for the cost of the scheme as well as finalising site selection.

The two bidding rounds are part of a wider programme to install 12,000MW of gas-fired capacity at different power stations over several years (MEED 11:7:03). It is the latest bid by IPDC to boost power generation capacity.

In 2003, a group led by Iran Power Plants Project Management Company (Mapna) was awarded the contract to install 3,100MW of gas-fired capacity at four plants in the Tehran, Fars, South Khorasan and West Azerbaijan provinces.

The group included Italy’s Ansaldo Energia and Germany’s Siemens. As with the latest tender, these plants are being expanded with the addition of steam-powered generating capacity.

Mapna is working on adding 4,000MW of steam capacity to the plants.

All are expected to be completed within two years.

Iran is also pursuing private power projects. In July, it announced that it had issued licences for the development of 43 build-own-operate and build-own-transfer projects, which will add a further 38,000MW of capacity to its network.

The Energy Ministry also plans to privatise 10 existing power plants with a total capacity of 8,000MW by the end of the year.

“There are now about 2,000MW of build-own-operate projects under construction,” says the IPDC official.IPDC is a subsidiary of Tavanir, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Energy Ministry.