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Iran and Syria signed on Tuesday a memorandum of understanding under which Iran will build a power plant in Syria’s coastal city of Latakia in a project worth US$475 million (411 million euro), Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported today.
The project will be launched next year, IRNA reported, in what could be another energy cooperation agreement between Iran and Syria.
In the complex Syrian conflict, Iran has been providing military support to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and now, according to experts on Iran who spoke to Reuters, Iran may be looking to get economic and financial benefits from its support.
The deal on Tuesday was signed by Mahmoud Ramadan, the head of the Syrian public authority for electricity generation, and Abbas Aliabadi, the managing director of Iran’s infrastructure conglomerate MAPNA Group, on the sidelines of a meeting in Tehran between the energy ministers of Iran and Syria, Reza Ardakanian and Mohammad Zuheir Kharboutli, respectively.
According to IRNA, the first gas unit at the Latakia power plant should be completed in 15 months, while the second unit will take 24 months to complete. A third unit at the plant will run on steam and is planned to be completed within 34 months, IRNA quoted the Syrian energy minister as saying.
The natural gas for fueling the power plant will be supplied from Syrian sources and will be transported via a 70-km (43.5 miles) pipeline, the Syrian minister noted.
Earlier this week, Iran and Syria discussed enhancing cooperation in the electricity sector, IRNA reported on Monday.
In September last year, Syria and Iran signed a memorandum of understanding, under which Iran would repair the power grid in Syria.
While Iran is helping Syria’s energy sector, Tehran’s oil exports continue to drop just five weeks before the U.S. sanctions return.
According to preliminary tanker tracking data compiled by Bloomberg, observed exports of Iranian crude oil and condensate plunged in September to 1.72 million bpd, down by 260,000 bpd month-on-month and the lowest level since February 2016.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.