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Azerbaijan, Iran Agree To Continue Work on Power Plants on Joint Border

By Kazem Sarabi April 20, 2022

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The construction of the Khudafarin and Giz Galasi hydropower plants on the Araz River on the joint border of Azerbaijan and Iran is underway. / APA

The Azerbaijani and Iranian officials have consented to implement the previously agreed document on the Khudafarin and Giz Galasi hydroelectric power plants on the Araz River.

In a meeting near the Giz Galasi reservoir on April 17, the sides agreed to continue working on hydroelectric power plants and waterworks facilities and determine the number of investments and contractors.

The contractors are yet to be identified, while the works are expected to begin in the next four months. The sides also determined that more than $22 million would be needed to complete the construction.

On April 16, in a meeting dedicated to the results of the first quarter of 2022, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said that “work on construction of “Khudafarin” and “Giz Galasi” Hydroelectric Power Stations should be accelerated this year.”

“Negotiations are underway with the Islamic Republic of Iran, and I think they should also be accelerated so that we can reach an agreement here as soon as possible,” the president said.

“Because the capacity of these stations will be very large – 240 megawatts, and after these stations are built, half of this capacity will reach us,” he added.

According to the representative of Azerbaijan’s Energy Ministry, Alasgar Hasanov, the total capacity of the Khudafarin hydroelectric power plant is 200 megawatts (100 megawatts belong to the Azerbaijani side). In comparison, the full capacity of Giz Galasi is 80 megawatts (40 megawatts belong to Azerbaijan).

Hasanov said it was planned that the two power plants would jointly produce 716 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year (358 million kilowatt-hours fall on the Azerbaijani side).

At the same time, it is planned to provide 252,000 hectares of existing and 12,000 hectares of new agricultural lands with irrigation water on the Azerbaijani side following the commissioning of water junctions, according to the government official. 

In August 2016, the Iranian MPs approved a bill on the joint construction of hydropower plants with Azerbaijan on the Araz River. The document calls for cooperation on the construction of power plants at the Khudafarin and Giz Galasi dams, as well as the construction of the Marazad power plant near Iran’s town of Marazad and the Ordubad power plant in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, which is a landlocked exclave of Azerbaijan.

The electricity networks of Azerbaijan and Iran are connected through five existing electric power transmission lines - the 330 kV Mugan, 230 kV Imishli and 110 kV Astara-Astara transmission lines, owned by Azerenergy OJSC, and the 132 kV Araz-Araz and 132 kV Julfa-Julfa transmission lines, owned by the State Energy Agency of Nakhchivan.